Stará hora wine trail

Route tracking:

Mikulov–Bavory–Dolní Dunajovice–Brod n. D.–Novosedly–Nový Přerov–Dobré Pole–Březí–Mikulov

Characteristics:

The bike trail „Stará hora“ circumvents the Dunajovické hills to the west of the Pavlovské hills detached mass and to the south from the Nové mlýny lakes and also cuts across the southern party of the Pálava north of Mikulov. Thus, you can see all the typical landscapes of this southern part of Moravia. The circular trail marked by its own logo runs across flat or slightly hilly vineyard countryside on the right bank of the Dyje along local roads, tertiary roads and former signal roads. Near Bavory it also follows field paths often running in parallel with another bike track or a wine trail.

Route parameters:

Route difficulty: Turista
Length: 37 km
Choosing the right bicycle: Silniční

Description:

The Dunajovické hills – an area the position of which is what many an expert on Moravian regions wonders about. Although it is located in the immediate vicinity of the Pálava frequented by tourists, it could be called the most forsaken region in the south of Moravia. During the war, vineyards, orchards and fields laid all around. The steep terraces of the old vineyards are still well visible although some areas such as the terraces of the highest hill, Slunečná, were not planted. After the war, with the expulsion of the Germans, the original inhabitants disappeared and once the agricultural system was converted into collective farms, most of the area started lying fallow. And the life here stopped: old crosses and small chapels, abandoned vineyards and churches and uncultivated fields give a strange impression of land without people. Nature reclaimed the uncultivated field and in this land without people it has established a model of various successive plant societies. What is typical here is greensward steppes with several feather grass species and a number of other steppe plant specie,s many of them being rare not only in the CR. Thus, the centre of the locality has been listed as a national natural preserve. On your trip you will circumvent all these small hills although the main destination is the famous wine growing localities on the slopes and at the feet of the Dunajovické hills.

 

The best starting point on the trip is Mikulov, which is not just a centre of wine growing but also a town with a unique concentration of Renaissance and Baroque buildings. This Moravian centre of the Jewish community, and the seat of the mighty House of Ditrichsteins bears many traces of its former owners: the chateau tower invites you to visit the exhibitions housed in the chateau or the large wine cellar, the squares and streets of the Baroque centre speak about the richness and luxury of the region through the stately merchant houses and the churches and synagogues speak about the spirituality of its citizens. And over the town skyline, on white rocks, you can see the ruins of the tower of Kozí hrádek reminding of many sufferings the town located on the main route between the Moravian and Austrian capitals went through. You can spend the whole day rambling over Mikulov and you will still not see all of it. However, if you look for more nature and views of the vineyards, you had better take a shorter way up to the Pavlovské and Dunajovické hills.

 

The path crossing the valley between the Svatý Kopeček (holy hillock) on the left and the southern forest covered Turold in the north will take you away from the town in the direction of the Pavlovské hills and you will symbolically cross the main ridge of the Pálava at Kočičí skála. What lies before you is a beautiful natural scenery of the western slopes of the Pavlovské hills and the picturesque wine growing municipality of Bavory. Since time immemorial, the people in Bavory have grown grapevine in the vineyards below the Pálava. The produced wine, mainly white wine, is then sold to the local restaurants and traders. The municipality is still strongly agricultural and focuses on wine growing. The municipal seal of Bavory seal shows a church tower set between two grapevine offsprings. This tradition has been kept to date and made famous by Tanzberg winery which owns many of the surrounding vineyards as well as important wine cellars on the outskirts of the municipality.

 

 

The neighbouring municipality of Perná located in the vicinity of the present primary road connecting Brno – Mikulov – Vídeň was also crossed by an important trade route already in the past. The ancient settlement situated on the Mikulov estate was recorded as early as the 13th century. The first written sources  date back to 1322 when the village was called Pairdorf. However, unique archaeological finds demonstrate the presence of mankind here during the Stone Age. In the northern part of the municipality you can see a settlement from the younger Bronze Age, finds related to the culture with linear pottery and numerous urn fields.

 

Dolní Dunajovice, the largest wine growing municipality in the CR, is surrounded by vineyards covering over 56 ha. The ancient municipality is decorated by Baroque St. Giles Church with a gothic centre although it was rebuilt in the middle of the 19th century and a Baroque presbytery and a pillory from the 18th century. The rural buildings with Baroque gables forming the main square still bear traces of the life and husbandry of the original German inhabitants of this border region. The municipality is also the birth place of the first Austrian president, dr. Karel Renner. 

 

The large Dunajovické hills rise up here above Dunajovice. This valuable locality protected as a unique national natural preserve is situated on the western slope of the Zadní dunajovický hřbet from the Malá Slunečná up to the highest peak of this hilly area, the  (283 m a.s.l.). The highest peak combines charm with signs of unfinished work: the Velká Slunečná was covered with terraces but vineyards were never planted here and therefore it has changes into a steppe. The terraces are now ruled by colonies of wild rabbits.

 

The field and steppe section from Dunajovice terminates in the vineyards on the western slopes along which the Dunajovické hills descend to the Dyje alluvial plain flooded with water of the upper reach of the Nové Mlýny lakes. The name of Brod nad Dyjí proves the ancient meaning of the places on the route where the Dyje river could be crossed. The village welcomes you by a wine colony, in particular the famous Vinařství Kovacs. The steeper slopes of the hilly area at the foot of which you arrive within the sight of Novosedly, form the famed Stará hora, the final destination of this trip. Instead of visiting the municipality that boasts one of the few original Romanesque buildings in the region of Břeclav, St. Oldřich Church, you head for a vineyard locality the history and present of which is documented by the wine trail Stará Hora. It passes along vineyards to the top of the hill and provides panoramatic views of the countryside below the Pálava. This 3.5km circular trail with 11 information panels provides information about the grapevine varieties grown in the local vineyards , details about viticulture, wine making, wine law and principles of wine tasting. After visiting the nature trail you can visit Marcinčák winery where you can see how wine is produced and taste wine produced by this winery. For organised groups you can arrange a visit to wine tasting cellar with refreshments or a Moravian wine evening with dulcimer music and guided wine tasting.

 

The southernmost part of the Dunajovické hills is another unique cultural colony, settled by Croatian inhabitants for several centuries until the post war period. In the 16th century, the Croatians fled before the Turks from the south and lived here for several centuries until the pre-war period. In Moravia they were called Charváti and they settled in the south of the regions of Břeclav and Mikulov: Nový Přerov and Dobré Pole you pass on this trip used to be their villages. Although they were removed form here between 1947 – 1951 and had to resettle further inland, the landscape and architecture have borne traces of their work so far. The long-lasting vicinity of the Iron Curtain preserved this area and since that time it has been given no chance to develop. And it is felt now when thanks to cyclotourism these villages have found themselves on the main domestic as well as European cycling arteries such as Greenways Praha-Wien or the future EuroVelo 9. Thus, the forsaken part of the region, Nový Přerov, has also become the junction of the Greenways trails and has turned itself into a neat village with a comfortable camp site in the former Jáňův dvůr.

 

The picturesque top of the Přerovský hill (237 m a.s.l.) is known by botanists as a feather grass steppe, but it is also well known by wine growers . As many pieces of land surrounding Nový Přerov, it is planted with vineyards with wine cellars scattered in between. These were built here by the Croatian settlers with a sense of taste and farmer’s modesty. At the railway station in  Březí it is then worthwhile taking a turn towards the village. The U rybníka wine cellar colony is an example of modern architecture of the 1920’s, in the neighbouring Sklepní Street you can find several wineries offering wine tasting and information about the wine making technologies.

 

The end of our trip through the region of Mikulov will take us to the former frontier guarding path – signal road – back to the regional capital. Then you can go to the railway station or visit some of the pleasant wine cellars .

 

Recommended sites:

Mikulov: old town; chateau with museum exhibitions and chateau cellar; Ditrichstein sepulchre; Jewish quarter – synagogue and cemetery; Kozí hrádek; cave at Turold

Bavory: Tanzberg winery

Brod n. D.: Kovács winery

Novosedly: Stará hora nature trail; Marcinčák winery

Nový Přerov: biofarm Jáňův dvůr with a camp site for cyclists

Březí: wine growing colony U rybníka and Sklepní ulice