Hidden away on a narrow street in the Old Town, between Betlémské náměstí and the river, you will find a Prague institution. U Salvátora, a tiny kořenářství (spice shop), has been selling seasoning to the city’s residents for several decades. Indeed, entering the fragrant store feels very much like going back in time.
Czech winemakers say they can put around 1.75 million bottles of young, so-called St. Martin‛s wine, on the market this year. This is more than half as much again as produced last year. Winemakers say that the boosted production is an achievement given that poor weather this year which gave them around two weeks less time to prepare the wine. The wine is traditionally produced for St. Martin’s day, which falls on November 11, after which is followed a long fast. The wine is the first of the season.
This weekend the small but increasingly popular Kocour brewery, based in Varnsdorf, north Bohemia, will be hosting the first ever Ale festivale – a festival highlighting local and foreign specialty beers. Kocour (which means tomcat in English) itself produces 10 different styles based on differences in ingredients, production and history and want to let the average consumer know there’s more to beer than just their usual brand.
Winemakers in Moravia and Bohemia are bracing themselves for an extremely low harvest this year, with estimates that crop levels could be 50 or even 80 percent lower than usual. A combination of severe weather conditions throughout the year is being blamed for poor grape yields, which are expected to lead to an increase in the prices of Czech wines next year.
Wine makers in the Czech Republic are expecting one of the worst harvests a decade. According to estimates, the grape harvest will be half of the average for the last ten years, and the association of Czech wine growers says that the prices of Moravian wines in particular will rise by about 10% in the next year as the shortage will be supplemented by grape imports. On the other hand the association does expect better quality wine this year in spite of the fact that sugar content was initially low. Only a fourth of the harvest has been completed thus far and later varieties contain more sugar.
The Czech Agriculture and Food Inspection Authority has warned the public about the dangers of using the Miracle Mineral Supplement which can be purchased over the internet. The supplement is presented as a miracle cure for a wide spectrum of serious illnesses ranging from AIDS to hepatitis. It promises to cleanse the blood of bacteria, viruses and fungi leaving the body regenerated. The Food Inspection authority says that tests have shown the substance to contain chemicals dangerous to health – such as those used to clean swimming pools – and taking the substance as prescribed could result in intestinal damage.
The total area of Moravian and Bohemian vineyards has almost tripled over the last 90 years, according to figures released by the Czech Statistical Office on Thursday. The area grew from less than 6,000 hectares in 1920 to over 16,000 hectares last year. Wine consumption has also risen – from five litres per capita in 1948 to more than 16 litres in 2008. A vast majority – some 95 percent – of Czech vineyards are located in Moravia. Last year, Czech winemakers produced a record 840,000 hectolitres of wine.
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