Being Canadian, when I think of Slovakia I think of ice hockey players. The Šťastný brothers. Marián Hossa. Zdeno Chára. Miroslav Šatan. But the fact is, Slovakia also makes some pretty fine wines. The reason you haven’t tried any is because they are exported mainly to Hungary, Poland and the Czech Republic, while the majority are consumed in Slovakia itself. So what’s a wine lover to do? Travel to Slovakia of course!
I was in Budapest this July, and my friend has a summer house just across the Slovakian border near Strekov (Kürt in Hungarian), which happens to be a major wine region in south-west Slovakia. This area is mainly Hungarian speaking and was in fact a part of Hungary up until the Treaty of Versailles in 1919. You won’t find many tourists here, and if you do they’ll tend to be the Slavic speaking variety. It’s just the kind of place I like to visit: off the western map, where Gypsies push carts down the village streets.
We visited two wineries in Strekov; I was both intrigued and impressed. Let’s start with impressed. Strekov 1075 is an interesting name for a family winery, with 12 hectares of vines on principally sandstone soils containing copious amounts of calcium and iron. According to co-owner Tibor Melecsky, the first documents for grape growing here stem from the 16th century. more>>