Visiting Prague can sometimes lead you to discover its surroundings. The villages and small towns surrounding the Czech capital are well worth a visit. The small town of Mělník is a perfect example, and we’d like to introduce you to it. So, in the rest of this article, we’ll tell you all about this little town in the heart of Bohemia!
Where is Mělník?
Just an hour’s journey north of Prague, Mělník is a small town in the Central Bohemia region. With a population of almost 20,000, it has been considered a mecca for Czech winegrowing since medieval times.
For the local population, wine-growing is a tradition that dates back to the 14th century. At the time, it was King Charles IV who decided to develop viticulture on his lands.
Fin out about Mělník Castle
Since then, this tradition has been passed down from generation to generation, bringing a certain brand image and notoriety to this small town. Mělník Castle is no longer the sole reason why tourists come to the town; its vineyards are just as popular now.
How can you go to Mělník?
Although the wine town is close to the capital, we recommend you get there by train or bus. This will enable you to discover Prague and its surroundings, with the many landscapes surrounding the capital, while following the famous Vltava River.
If you choose to travel by rail, we recommend you get off at the Hlavní nádraží station. This will take you an average of 45 minutes. You’ll also find a map of the city’s metro and streetcar network in the practical information section.
If you choose to travel to Mělník by bus, you’ll be able to get to several places such as the Hlavní nádraží train station, and the Ladvi bus station with a direct bus to the city center. Allow 50 minutes for transport.
The Mělník Wine Festival
700 years ago, Charles IV brought a new grape variety from France, Pinot, straight from Burgundy, which led to a marked improvement in the quality of wine in the region, much to the delight of the inhabitants. That’s why every year at the end of September, for over a century now, Mělník’s grape harvest has been celebrated throughout the town.
You’ll have the chance to taste the latest products from local producers before they’re even bottled. This is what’s known as “Vin bourru“, often presented in plastic bottles that don’t look like much, but taste like a cross between grape juice and wine. The Czechs will tell you it’s a semi-fermented grape juice, which means it’s still fermenting when you buy it.
History buffs will be immersed for a night in the middle of the 15th century, as a tribute to the ancient inhabitants who pioneered viticulture in the Kingdom of Bohemia. You’ll see Charles IV touring the town and inspecting the vineyards to check the quality of the wine.
What dishes go best with Czech wine?
Czech food is mostly meat, so it’s usually accompanied by a local beer, but sometimes by wine. One of the most popular Czech dishes with which Mělník wine can be paired is Vepřo-knedlo-zelo (roast pork). It consists of pork parts such as head, ham or loin with cabbage and ravioli as garnish.
Although beer is the main local drink consumed in the country, Czech wine is beginning to make its mark in terms of quality and is attracting the interest of tourists with its French origins and traditional design, such as Mělník wine. A day trip to this small town less than an hour from Prague will allow you to explore the hinterland and, if you go in late September, take part in a unique wine festival.
Travel to the Czech Republic and discover Mělník
We hope this little introduction to Mělník has won you over. This small town is known for the quality of its wine, and it shows. The whole local culture revolves around viticulture. So if you’re passionate about the world’s wines, we recommend you head straight here. For the rest of you, maybe you’ll have the chance to taste some in your typical restaurants!