Małopolska: unexplored appellation, hidden delight.
Wines matured under the Małopolska sun are highly pleasing for the palate, and a journey to their birthplaces offers the unique chance of drinking delicious wine in or near the domain with a breath-taking view, quite likely of the Tatra or Gorce Mountains, or the Vistula Valley by Kraków as, surprisingly, one of the most renowned local vineyards is not only nestled within the city limits but also within the grounds of a Camaldolese Monastery.
Winegrowing and winemaking, the crafts that blend nature with culture, were a Małopolska tradition for centuries. The best produce made it to the royal tables of Wawel Castle. Little wonder that many wines produced today in the region are hailed for their robust, regal flavours with hints of fruit and flowers, a trait that does set them apart in a league of their own.
Recognising the allure of Małopolska’s vineyards, the vine growers have united to create the Małopolska Wine Trail—a thematic cultural heritage trail that invites visitors to discover the region’s vineyards, meet the passionate growers, and savour the unique flavours of local wines amidst nearby attractions. You’re welcome to immerse yourself in the beauty of the landscape as the majority of the fifty vineyards along the trail are perched on the gentle slopes of Małopolska’s hills and mountains, benefiting from the mineral-rich soil that nurtures the sun-kissed grapes. Embarking on the trail not only introduces you to delightful wine varieties but also unveils the captivating scenery that envelopes the ine plantations. Consider timing your visit for special events and wine festivities, such as the Days of Open Vineyards (an official Wine Trail event), Tuchovinifest, and Dionizje Tarnowskie.
Worry not, as boredom is a beast absolutely unknown on the trail. There is plenty of variety as some of the participating wine growers tend to small vineyards, while others operate huge estates. Some, like Słońce i Wiatr (Sun and Wind), Wieliczka, and Jura vineyards, focus on organic (eco) production, others, including Winnica Janowice, organise events blending the craft of wine making with other arts. Vitis Musica, organised in a different yard each week, immerses you (together with the glass of local wine you are holding) in music tales spun especially for you (and the wine). The number of wine-related events is growing, and our delicious wines are missing you badly. Why don’t you come so that we can toast Na zdrowie! together?
The vineyard that belongs to the hermit monks of the Camaldolese Monastery is called Srebrna Góra – Silver Mountain after the hill that the monastery stands on.
In Małopolska climate that is quite fickle even at the time of global warming, winemakers experiment with different vines to find ones best suited for our climate.
Upholding a time-honoured tradition, the Jagiellonian University has its vineyard too.
Na zdrowie, that is “to health”, is the most archetypal Polish toast.
The varieties of grapes most eagerly grown in Małopolska include Seyval and Solaris (white), and Leon Millot, Marechal Foch, and various Cabernets (red).
If there are any positive aspects of climate change, then they certainly include the revival of wine-growing traditions: the northern line of winegrowing steadily moves north.