The Czech Republic is split into Bohemia and Moravia. Wine-growing in Bohemia covers a relatively small area. There are about 650 hectares of vines that are mainly planted alongside the Elbe river. These are the remnants of vineyards planted by Emperor Rudolf II (1552-1612).
There are six areas of wine-growing within Bohemia but the area around Prague (Praha) and Caslav are little more than symbolic with less than 10 hectares of vineyards. Bohemia hardly enjoys a good climate for wine-growing with an average annual temperature of a mere 8°C (46.4°F) and an average of only 14.5°C (58°F) during the growth period. There are only 1,600-1,800 hours of sunshine per annum, and precipitation is 500-550 mm per annum. The soil is mainly chalk-bearing but also incorporates weathered basalt.
The Czech and Slovak Republics separated from each other quite in 1989 . Both countries have a very turbulent history behind them.
The economic position in both countries is far from ideal, although the Czech Republic is developing rapidly. Slovakia is of greater interest as a wine producer while the Czech Republic is more of a place of pilgrimage for true beer lovers as the home of Pilsener Urquell and the true Budweiser. The Czech Republic is the origin in the town of Plzen (Pilsen) of all Pilsener type beers. Despite this, vines are also cultivated in the Czech Republic as well as in Slovakia.
Conditions for wine-growing are better in Moravia than Bohemia. There is a tradition here of wine-making that goes back at least a thousand years. The start of wine-making coincides with the occupation by the Roman legions in third century BC.
At present there are about 12,000 hectares of productive vines in Moravia. The climate is relatively favorable. The average annual temperature is between 10°C (50°F) and 15°C (59°F) during the growing seasons. Average precipitation is 500-700 mm per annum. The consistency of the soil is extremely varied, ranging through slate-like strata and chalk-bearing layers to gravel, and pre-dominantly clay soils. The vineyards are cultivated on both slopes and level ground with a preference for frost-free locations.
The Mikulov wine area is one of the largest that extends from Novomlynske Nädrze to the border with Austria.
The best-known towns are Valtice, Mikulov, and Lednice. This is an area of mainly white Czech wines that are fulsome in taste with pleasing acidity and striking character. A number of Czech wines are produced here with quality predicates, mainly made from Ryzlink Vlayky, Veltlinske Zelene, Muykät Moravsky, Ryzlink Rynsky, Chardonnay, and Aurelius. There is also a plant improvement station at Perna where frost and disease resistant grape varieties are developed.
The finest Moravian vineyard of Yobes is on the Austrian border. The ideal climate here ripens the Rulandskeyede, Ryzlink Rynsky, and Ryzlink Vlasky fully. The Czech wines from the Yobes vineyard are characterised by their fullness and pronounced bouquet. The Sauvignon Blanc from Znojmo is pale yellow-green and has a wonderful nose that in lesser years is reminiscent of nettles and in good years of ripe peaches. The Irsai Oliver from Yatov has a bewitching Muscat bouquet and fulsome and harmonious taste. The Neuburské is a dry Czech wine that is green-yellow with a gentle nose and fulsome taste with mild bitterness. In good years this Czech wine is capable of maturing well and develops into a fine rounded wine after five years. The Ryzlink Vlasky is a mildly aromatic dry Czech wine with higher acidity, green- yellow colour, and spicy aroma. It is drunk when young.