The main activities here are hiking, cycling and wine tasting. The Mikulov Wine Trail is a pleasant way to combine all of these. The 82km-long circuit passes through and connects smaller, local vineyards around the rolling countryside. The tourist information office can recommend rides along either part of or the entire circuit. It's signposted in yellow. You can hire a bike at RentBike.
Discovering Moravian Wine
Compared to the wine regions of France, California, Australia or New Zealand, the Moravian wine tourism experience is much more low-key and homespun. Rather than flash boutique hotels or Michelin-star restaurants, the wine scene here is more likely to involve energetic harvest festivals and leisurely cycle touring between family-owned vineyards.
South from Brno toward the borders with Austria and Slovakia, the Moravian wine region accounts for 96% of the total area under vine in the Czech Republic. Traditionally, robust red wines were part of the Moravian rural diet, but in recent years, late-ripening white wines have taken centre stage. With grape ripening occurring at a slower pace, the emphasis is on full-bodied, aromatic and often spicy wines.
The Mikulov sub-region is characterised by the proximity of the Pavlovské hills, creating a local terrain rich in limestone and sand. Wines to look for during your visit include the mineral-rich white varietals of Rulandské šedé, Ryzlink vlašský (better known by its German name of Welschriesling) and Veltlínské zelené (Grüner Veltliner). Müller-Thurgau and Chardonnay grapes also do well.
Further west, the Znojmo sub-region is situated in the rain shadow of the Bohemian and Moravian highlands, and the soils are more likely to be studded with gravel and stones. Aromatic white wines including sauvignon, Pálava and Ryzling rýnský (Riesling) are of notable quality, and red wines, especially Frankovka (Blaufränkisch), are also worth trying.
Keep an eye out for Czech Tourism's excellent 'Through the Land of Wine' brochure or see www.wineofczechrepublic.cz for details of wine-touring routes and Moravia's growing profile in international wine competitions.