Małopolska wine harvest – enjoy the tasteful journey!

Grape bushes.
Mid-September, the time of the grape harvest, is the ideal time to think about visiting the vineyards of the Małopolska region. You can then not only take a close look at the work of the winemaker, taste the ripe fruit and sample the wines, but also join in the harvest work. The grape harvest is a great form of relaxation and active outdoor recreation in beautiful natural surroundings – what more could you want on an autumn weekend?

In the Małopolska vineyard 

Winemaking in the Małopolska region is developing extremely fast and dynamically, but still many people don’t fully know what they can expect from a visit to a local vineyard and what awaits them there... Enotourism in the southern part of Europe is extremely popular, while in Poland it’s still something new. One thing we can be absolutely sure of is that in each of the vineyards, we’ll be greeted by a friendly, hospitable enthusiast: the host, who’ll be happy to show you around the vineyard, tell you about its history and the wines he or she produces. Most vineyards offer tastings with offerings of local specialities, cured meats, cheeses and preserves on the tables. Many vineyards also organise various events in the natural setting of the long, even rows of vines. If you would like to preserve the memories of your visit for a longer period of time, the vineyard can also serve as a unique photographic location and picturesque background.

Please remember, however, that if you’re expecting views like those of Europe’s greatest wine regions, with vines stretching to the horizon – you’ll be disappointed. Most of the vineyards in the Małopolska region don’t exceed 1 hectare in size, which doesn’t mean that they don’t have a specific climate or that the quality of the wine is inferior: quite the contrary! Małopolska’s wines don’t differ in quality from German or Czech wines created in similar climatic conditions, as confirmed by numerous awards in foreign competitions. The high fragmentation of the vineyards and the fact that they are created out of passion rather than for commercial purposes means that we can expect a completely different taste, aroma and style of wine at each vineyard. Even liquors created from a single species of grape can differ significantly from each other. This is due to the individual, proprietary recipes used at each winery. It’s therefore worth choosing to visit a few places and find your favourite flavour in the wealth of diversity.

Małopolska wines

So, which types of wine can we come across while travelling the wine route in Małopolska?
In the Małopolska region, it’s mainly hybrid varieties and mixtures of noble varieties that are grown. They are much more weather-resistant and mature more quickly, making their cultivation possible in our climatic conditions and with a relatively short growing season. The classic varieties grown in southern Europe are often too delicate and unsuited to the relatively harsh conditions of the region. Most of the seedlings are imported from Germany and the Czech Republic. This is, of course, due to the fact that conditions are quite similar there. Małopolska produces mainly white wines, but this doesn’t mean that lovers of red wines won’t find something suitable for themselves, as the region also produces red, rosé and amber wines. Some winemakers are also experimenting with sparkling wine, which could be a big opportunity for the development of local winemaking. Most winemakers, as a result of experiments and following the idea to satisfy the different tastes of their guests, prepare dry, semi-dry, semi-sweet and also sweet wines.

We’ll tell you what types of wine you are most likely to encounter, what to expect from them and what to serve them with.

•    Solaris is one of the most popular grape varieties. It’s very versatile, matures quickly and has great resistance. Due to its significant sugar content, it is well suited to the production of wines with varying degrees of sweetness. Solaris gives wines that are light and versatile, with medium intensity aromas of citrus fruit, apple, peach and nectarine. It tastes great with fish, summer salads, vegetable dishes, but also as an aperitif.
•    Johanniter – resembles Riesling in many ways. It matures slightly earlier than the noble German variety and has a slightly lower acidity. It has the potential to produce fine wines of great concentration, but for the most part, wines from this variety are light and fruity, with pleasant acidity and spreading aromas of melon, pears, ripe gooseberries and peaches, notes of which are also noticeable in the taste. Wines from this variety are excellent as an aperitif, as well as served with salads, white meats, Asian dishes and desserts.
•    Regent – a variety for making red wine with fruit that is intense in colour, even dark blue. The grapes and berries are somewhat similar to the Pinot Noir variety. The wine is also similar in its fruitiness to that obtained from the grapes of the famous Burgundy grape, but contains less tannins and is therefore much milder. It’s characterised by an intense bouquet, with notes of exotic fruits such as mango, lychee and citrus. Depending on the expansion, it can also have floral aromas. Suitable for making dessert wines. The Regent variety goes well with a cheese and cold meat board, but also with meat-based dishes.
•    Rondo – this variety is one of the dark grape varieties from which mainly red wines are produced. It’s a blend of two grape varieties – Zarya Severa and Saint Laurent. The wines are dark purple in colour and have a purple and dark blue sheen. As a rule, they are flinty and tart. Thanks to their considerable tannin content and extractivity, these wines are characterised by their original juicy charm and uncommon temperament. Rondo wines are also often added to blends created from other varieties, which also allows to obtain unique wines. It has noticeable fruit aromas of cherries, blueberries, raspberries, blackberries. In some bottles you can find the aroma of dried plums and spicy notes of pepper, tobacco, liquorice. At times, floral (violets), mineral (stone, forest mulch) notes can also be detected. These wines can be served with a variety of meats: whether beef and pork roasts or lamb chops. Rondo wines go well with cheeses: emmenthaler, gouda, mozzarella and also with vegetables.
•    Jutrzenka – the only grape variety which was selected in Poland. A typical wine from this variety is well structured, quite extractive, with lively but balanced acidity and a pronounced aroma comprising tones of ripe fruit: apple, citrus, peach, white currants, as well as white flowers (acacia, elderflower), and a pronounced herbal note of fresh mint and currant leaves. In winemaking it’s suitable for blending with varieties that don’t have their own distinctive flavour and aroma. It’s also great for making sweet, distillate-fortified liqueur wines.

If you would like to take part in a real wine harvest, you don’t have to go to France, Italy or Hungary. All you need to do is set off along the Małopolska Wine Route. We wish you a tasty and flavourful journey!!!



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