At a recent trade tasting we were delighted to be presented with a range of Biodynamic wines from the Moravia wine-growing region of the Czech Republic. Not previously familiar with these wineries we sampled away and were immediately impressed by 3 in particular and have since listed their wines. Below we take a look at the 3 very differing wineries and delve a little into how they produce these delicious wines.
KRÁSNÁ HORA Winery
Dolni Poddvorov, Moravia.
Krasna Hora, or Beautiful Mountain, takes its name from the mountain that overlooks the winery in the town of Stary Poddvorov, a village and municipality in Hodonín District in the South Moravian Region of the Czech Republic.
The first vineyards in Krasna Hora were planted by Cistercian monks in the 13th century, so vines have been cultivated here for nearly 800 years. As a result the vineyards are planted with traditional French varieties like Pinot Blanc, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Noir and Merlot. The family that owns the Krasna Hora Winery believe that these varieties are the ideal choice for the gently sloping vineyards, with south-southwest exposure and dominated by loess soil.
They own 5 ha of vineyards, and buy grapes in from another 5ha of land. All the fruit comes from vineyards that follow Organic practices. Home-made, natural compost and fertilisers are applied between the rows of vines to deter pests After 6 years of following this regime and having looked more and more into the Biodynamic movement’s approach to wine growing, vineyard manager Mikulas decided to begin take things further and introduced with Biodynamic practices. They are hoping that this will help them to understand the vineyard and soils better and in time improve the overall growing environment and, of course, the quality of the wine.
All grapes are handpicked into small wooden boxes and they make sure that they reach the winery as soon as possible. Yields per vine are kept below 1kg.
In the winery, minimum intervention is followed. All red wines, and an increasing number of white wines, are aged in oak barrels on lees. Use of So2 is kept low so as to keep the wine as authentic and natural as possible.
Krásná Hora, Riesling 2015
Produced from 2 Vineyards:
Luzice- a 30-year-old vineyard with pure sand base. Gives great balance between acidity and richness in wines.
Zadni Hora – Dolni Bojanovice – so named after the 2 local municipalities Stary Poddvorov X Dolni Bojanovice is a 15 year old vineyard.
A mixture of three collections from different harvest times and two different clones. Maceration on the skins for 12 hours. Each part separately fermented in stainless steel, and then eight months on gross lees after assemblage of all the individual fermentations. Light filtration and then bottled.
Krásná Hora, Pinot Noir 2015
Vineyard: Krasna Hora (Beautiful mountain) – their vineyards, in organic regime since 2010 certified and this year we start three years biodynamically. Mix 3 different clones Burgundy Pinot Noir. Vineyards south-southwest oriented, from the top covered with oak trees. Clay-loess soil. The first vineyards were planted and is historically documented in the 12th century order of Cistercian monks French
Hand picking took place in sugar content from 21,5-23 degrees. Fermented in open vats each clone separately for 1 month with skins. Once pressed and held malolactic fermentace.Následně ripening in a mix drum from 1- 3 years old in a volume of 225-500 l. Unfined, unfiltered, dissemination slightly before bottling.
Boretice, Moravia, Czech Republic
The Stapleton-Springer Winery came into being in 2004. The former US Ambassador Craig Stapleton, lawyer Benjamin Stapleton and winemaker Jaroslav Springer entered into an agreement to create a winery bearing the names of these founding members which was to produce red wine of the highest quality.
The Stapleton-Springer Winery specialises in red wines for long-term laying down. Pinot Noir, which we love, became the family firm’s dominant variety.
The winery operates an organic or BIO regime since 2007. In this way we achieve a greater number of antioxidants in the grapes, a better taste and therefore naturally a better quality of wine. Vineyard plots of Čtvrtě, Bratáčky, Haltýřky, Záhřebenské, Lumperky and Trkmansko are planted by 75% by Pinot Noir, 5% by Saint Laurent, 5 % by Blau Portugieser, and 10 % by Chardonnay. Total area of vineyards is 20 hectares. They gradually replace the sorts of Blau Portugieser and Saint Laurent by Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Terasy vineyard area consists of Bratáčky, Haltýřky, Lumperky and Zahřebenské plots. It is located between the villages of Bořetice and Kobylí, and lies 210 metres above sea level. The soil is composed of loess, sandstone and sand. The vineyard faces south and south by southeast. There is 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay here. The total size of the area is 16 hectares. The size of the vineyards is 12 hectares. The planting started in 2008, and it was Pinot Noir. They continued with Chardonnay in 2011 and in 2013-2014 planted another 6 hectares of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Theres’s 10 types of Pinot Noir and 4 types of Chardonnay in this area.
The south-east-facing vineyard tract “Čtvrtě” rightly belongs among the highest-rated sites in the Czech Republic. It spreads over the contours of the hill between the wine communes of Bořetice and Vrbice at 206 metres above sea level. The soil here is clayey with loess deposits, combined with a singular microclimate, giving superb conditions for Pinot noir and Chardonnay grapes, which we cultivate here on 2,3ha. We will change Saint Laurent and Blauer Portugieser varieties for Pinot noir in the future (2ha).
One of the largest vineyard tracts in the entire Czech Republic. Oriented towards the south-east at 220 metres above sea level. Soil is clayey with limestone and sandstone sub-soil. We cultivate the varieties Pinot Noir and Blauer Portugieser here. Total area 5,7 hectares.
Tomas Springer Pinot Noir Čtvrtē 2015
This cuvee bears name of Jaroslav’s eldest son winemaker Tomas who took all of the important decisions and was responsible for creation of the wine.
Single vineyard Čtvrtē, 100% Pinot Noir, Burgundian clone 115
10 days maceration on skins, spontaneous fermentation, kept in 10 small oak barrels for 12 months then blended together.
Stapleton-Springer, Ben’s Reserve Pinot Noir 2014
From Terasy vineyard which is located between the villages of Bořetice and Kobylí, and lies 210 metres above sea level. The soil is composed of loess, sandstone and sand. The vineyard faces south and south by southeast. They grow 80% Pinot Noir and 20% Chardonnay here. The total size of the area is 16 hectares. The size of the vineyards is 12 hectares.
Blend of old Dijon thin-skinned clon 114 and newer clones with thicker skins. 12 months in oak barrels.
Stapleton-Springer, Orange de Pinot Noir 2016
Fruit is from Trkmanska vineyard oriented towards the south-east at 220 metres above sea level. Soil is clayey with limestone and sandstone sub-soil. They cultivate Pinot Noir and some Blauer Portugieser here. Total area 5,7ha.
6 months on the lees in large 1500l oak barrel. No SO2 added during elevage, only a touch before bottling.
Boretice, Moravia, Czech Republic
Ota Ševčík was born in Bořetice in South Moravia in the Hanácké Slovácko region. His ancestors owned vineyards and made wines, as did his father. Ota carries over the knowledge and tradition of his ancestors and brings in winemaking methods to create wines characteristic for Hanácké Slovácko. He humbly accepts the gifts of nature, respects the terroir and works with his hands and his heart and as romantic as this may sound, this truly is his strength. He looks for precision, purity and harmony in his wines and his goal is to achieve high quality wines but with a personality.
His relationship with vineyards and winemaking goes right back to his childhood, when he helped his parents. His first wine was made in 1992, cuvee Vecerka, Veltlinske Cervene (Roter Veltliner).
Ota Sevcik has also been the founding member of Authentiste group, which comprises winemakers who adhere to the rules of natural winemaking.
Ctvrte: 1.76 ha. Age of vines: 5 to 11 years
South facing vineyards with a good slope aspect. Captures good sunlight and winds and lies between Bořetice and Vrbice in an altitude of 200-275 m. From here one can enjoy the beautiful views from Palava to Lower Carpathiens. This site offers interaction of different types of soils
from dark topsoil rich in nutrients through loess soils down to bedrock in combination with very warm and dry local climate.
Suits Sauvignon Blanc, Ryzlink (Riesling) and Neuburger perfectly. Expressions are full and bursting with high minerality. Known to be one of the top sites for Pinot Noir, Ota’s Pinot Noirs grown here possess superb potential for ageing.
Kravi Hora: 0.22 ha. Age of vines: 17 to 76 years
This vineyard lies on the East facing slope with an orientation towards Bořetice. Historically, it used to be a grazing area for cows and the only access was over the lake. The lake lay between Brumovice and Velka Pavlovice and was 0.5 to 1 km wide. What’s left out of it, is only agricultural land. Vineyard lies in altitude of 190-220 m in a warm, dry mesoclimate. The soil is mainly cambisoil with some sand.
Best for Hibernal, Veltlinske Zelené (Grüner Veltliner), Ryzlink Vlašský (Welschriesling), Frankovka (Blaufränkisch) and Cabernet Sauvignon.
Ota Ševčik, Pinoty 2015
Blend of Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris and Chardonnay. All fruit comes from Ctvrte, regarded as one of the top vineyard sites in the Czech Republic for Pinots. Maceration on the skins for 24 hours, spontaneous fermentation and maturation in 2×500 litre new acacia barrel. 11 months on gross lees. Unfined, unfiltered, and touch of SO2 just at bottling.
Ota Ševčík, Blanc de Pinot Noir 2015
Vineyard Ctvrte: 0-25 let, black soil, loess, humus, more Mg, slope S, middle management, 0-25 years.
Whole bunches, spontaneous fermentation, 24 hours maceration, and aging in 300 l + 100 l oak 11 months on gross lees, 6 months without SO2, unfiltered, unfined
All the wines featured in this article are available in our shop and come highly recommended by us for outstanding quality and value for money.