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.
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.
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.