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Discovering Slovakia’s wine regions

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Step into the enchanting world of Slovakian winemaking, where history, landscape and resilient people converge to create a captivating narrative.

In partnership with VIAJUR Wines


Slovakia’s viticultural story stretches back millennia and is one of dedicated wine-growers whose work is defined by terroir and history, yet have also created unique grape varieties along the way. The oldest evidence of winemaking here – discovered in the Small Carpathians hill fort of Molpír – pre-dates the Romans by 400 years. Vineyards flourished in Slovakia until the arrival of phylloxera in the 19th century, which devastated over 90% of the vineyards and forced winemakers to start anew.

The 20th century ushered in a new era, one marked by the nationalisation of vineyards during communist rule, prioritising quantity over quality. The fall of communism in 1989 was a turning point, as vineyards returned to private ownership, but the restoration of winemaking traditions and knowledge was a gradual process.

Today, Slovakia stands on the cusp of a winemaking renaissance, its landscapes adorned with rolling hills, fertile plains and the majestic Carpathian Mountains. The country boasts over 600 dedicated producers who expertly make unique wines from 10,000ha of vineyards that are spread across 390 municipalities within six primary wine regions and which carry protected geographic indications.

Map of Slovakian wine regions

Small Carpathians (Malokarpatská)

The Small Carpathians wine region, nestled in the western part of Slovakia, is characterised by vineyards planted on the slopes of the Small Carpathians mountain range. Known for its high-quality wines, diverse soils and favourable aspects, it is the country’s most historic and renowned region.

South Slovakia (Južnoslovenská)

Spanning the southernmost part of the country, north of the Danube river, the region covers 5,116ha. Being the warmest area in Slovakia, sun-loving varieties such as Cabernet Sauvignon thrive here, and there are plenty of great-value wines to be found in the sub-region of Dunajská Streda.

Sculpture of decanter on VIAJUR's Farna Estate in Slovakia

Nitra (Nitrianská)

Nitra is one of Slovakia’s oldest wine regions and comprises a patchwork quilt of terroirs that are heavily influenced by warm and dry lowland climates. Archaeological finds attest to its viticultural history and date back to the Great Moravian Empire, which lasted until the early 10th century. VIAJUR’s Farná estate plays a key role in sustainability, cultivating vineyards, as well as a range of other crops.

Central Slovakia (Stredoslovenská)

This region boasts 2,227ha of vineyards, enjoying mild temperatures and predominantly volcanic substrate soils. A wide range of varieties are planted, including Traminer, Pinot Blanc, Riesling, Frankovka Modrá (Blaufränkisch), Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir.

VIAJUR Blanc de Noir wine

East Slovakia (Východoslovenská)

Covering three territories in south and east Košice, the East Slovakia wine region is historically significant and adds up to 777ha. The Vihorlat Hills’ southern slopes showcase unique profiles, a reflection of the continental climate and diverse soil types.

Tokaj (Tokajská)

Located in the Bodrog river basin, Tokaj is a geographically enclosed area with 1,415ha of vines planted. Predominantly known for the varieties Furmint and Lipovina, the region spans Slovakia’s Zemplín Hills to the north and Hungary’s confluence of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers to the south.

Tractor in vineyards on VIAJUR's Farna Estate in Slovakia

 

Grape varieties to know: Veltlínske Zelené (Grüner Veltliner), Rizling Vlašský (Welschriesling), Müller-Thurgau, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Furmint, Frankovka Modrá (Blaufränkisch) and Svätovavrinecké (St Laurent).

Notably, Slovakian winemakers have always embraced innovation by cultivating unique varieties such as Dunaj (a crossing of Muškát Bouchet and Oporto that was then crossed with St Laurent), Alibernet (a cross of Alicante Bouschet and Cabernet Sauvignon) and Hron (a cross of Castets and Abouriou Noir).


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