UK sommeliers and buyers have been urged to think a little outside the box and turn to Moravia to spice up their wine lists.
Bulgaria, Romania, Croatia, Austria and Hungary have all cracked the UK market in one way or another, and Moravia – a region in the east of Czech Republic – is feeling left out.
Jiri and Zainab Majeriková have set out to change all that and have founded a distribution company called Basket Press Wines out of central London to target the UK trade.
When asked why they are right for the UK market, Zainab Majeriková said: ‘Central Europe is tipped to be the region to watch this year. Given that wines from lesser known regions such as Bulgaria, Romania and Croatia have already been represented here in some capacity, we felt that UK would definitely be the right market to bring Moravian wines into.
‘Moravian wines have already made their mark in the US, Denmark, Austria and Japan, to name a few markets. And more importantly, given the historic link of Czech Republic to the Austrian-Hungarian empire and its long winemaking history, we felt that it would only be natural to get the trade to try these as its long overdue to make its appearance here.’
Sommeliers might be sceptical of such an unheralded region, but Majeriková urged them to give it a chance. ‘In the UK, especially London, which is one of the most important markets for wine and given the burgeoning of cool restaurant and wine bar concepts, we feel that the producers we represent, who form a new wave of thinking and the quality of the wine is something worth exploring for sommeliers and buyers,’ she said. ‘Also, the UK trade is always seeking out new and exciting regions.’
Winemaking in Moravia dates back to the 2nd century, when it was introduced by the Romans.
Key varietals in the region are Veltlínské zelené (Gruner Veltliner), Ryzlink vlašský (Welschriesling) and Ryzlink rýnský (Riesling), while international varieties like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are also produced.
Pic credit: Czech Tourism