devinsky_ribezlak
Photo credit: www.devinsky-ribezlak.sk

HISTORY

After the end of 19th century the Devín area was vastly planted with currants. At that time a vine disease was destroying vineyards across Europe, and planting currant seemed to be a solution. Devín was broadly known for its vast orchards of currants and apricots, that were daily shipped to Vienna. But after the Austro- Hungarian borders closed in 1918, nobody would buy the currants harvest so the farmers dried it up on the stem.

The mass production of black currant wine started in 1922 by a local resident Mr Alois Sonntag. Besides the wine he also started to produce currant vermouth that later was rewarded with a gold medal in Paris. Currant became a signature of Devín.

sonntag_current_wine
Photo credit: www.devinsky-ribezlak.sk
sonntag_current_wine
Photo credit: www.devinsky-ribezlak.sk

They started producing local currant wine made from red and black currants, and it became a tradition that many elder people still remember in Devin – the sale of wine in small bottles under the Devin Castle was the successful attempt of man working hand in hand with nature, producing something unique and creating tradition that has come to life again and is this year, for the 3rd time welcoming wine lovers during Small Carpathian Wine Route. Devín also holds the traditional grape harvesting festivities known as vinobranie each year.

Today there are a few local producers of currant wine, and the number is getting higher with years.

Tasting

In the cozy cellar (in Slovak traditionally called “Viecha”) you can join a degustation of traditional Devin ribezlak – currant wine from red, black but also white currants from Devínska Kobyla, which Devin has been known for a long time. You can taste also the grape wines from Devinska Kobyla range and the Small Carpathian region.

devin_wine_cellar
Photo credit: www.devinsky-ribezlak.sk

Currant Wine

Traditional currant wine is very specific. The production is similar to red grape wine, but much more demanding and involves much more hand work. Currant wine has a sweet taste and is, when properly produced and preserved, by taste, acids , color and character the closest to grape wine. Like with the grape wine, you can choose from a wide scale of currant wines: wine made only from red or white currants, medium dry or dry, semi-sweet or sweet, barrique etc. Another difference is the season of production – as the grape wine is produced in autumn, the currant wine is produced during the hot summer days of July.

The Festival will take place under the Devín castle from 10:00 until 22:00 and will be a mixture of a culinary event, where visitors will explore and taste and buy many currant culinary creations – from currant syrup, jams, cakes as well as young wine and currant juice. Retro activities like Picnic of Mr Sonntag and Velo Orbis, or attend an international meeting of velocipedists riding historical bikes, will enrich the currant day. And all the programme will be accompanied with good music.

Perfect gift idea

You might consider buying a bottle or two to take it home with you – it is a perfect and unique gift with tradition and a story to take from Slovakia.

devin_current_wine
Photo credit: www.devinsky-ribezlak.sk