Wine Talk

Snooth User: shot2pieces

Polish wines to hit the market in 2009

Posted by shot2pieces, Feb 24, 2009.

Just a little heads up from an old curio shop (or a growing wine market).

Poland is not typically thought of as a wine-producing country and that is a fact for numerous reasons. In brief - the weather, the communists (nationalization of fields + USSR's economic plan that did not include wine production in Poland), also terribly harsh law related to alcohol production through 1990-2008.

Fortunately this is changing - i.e. the law has changed - and first Polish wines will finally hit the market soon. Before that our boutique winemakers would have to follow very strict (and costly) regulations in order to sell their wines on the open market. Around 40 winemakers reportedly want to show their first products this year, but the number of bottles will most likely be very scarce and offered locally.

We will see how it goes and I will try to report how the wine is once I try it. I'm not expecting anything special for years to come, TBF, but I'm keeping my fingers crossed.

Replies

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Reply by Gregory Dal Piaz, Feb 24, 2009.

That is pretty excited news. What are the style of the wines? Much red wine of mostly whites? I would love to know more about this developing wine story!

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Feb 24, 2009.

This is great news considering how fastidious the Poles are about their Beer and Vodka production.

Given southern Poland's proximity to Hungary (Krakow is only ~100 miles from Tokaji), they should be able to produce some decent wines given time and technology. Was their a lot of wine produced in Poland before 1939? Are their some historical regions on south-facing river banks or close to lakes to lengthen the growing season?

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Reply by John Andrews, Feb 24, 2009.

Yes ... I need to try some polish wines to help me get into the Wine Century Club. I just broke 60 this past week. But the next 30 or so are going to be really tough. :-)

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Feb 24, 2009.

Alright John - I feel for you. Here's a big hint worth up to 13 varieties (I'd guess 8-9 for you depending on how many Rhone Ranger wines you've had).

"But Châteauneuf and the southern Rhône is a land of blends. Traditionally, the wines were field blends of many grapes grown side by side. While the appellation's rules permit the use of 13 grapes in the blend, most wines nowadays are dominated by grenache, mourvèdre and syrah (with some exceptions, like Château Beaucastel, a historic Châteauneuf producer, which still uses all 13 varietals)."

That gets you all of:
Grenache, Syrah, Mourvèdre, Cinsault, Muscardin, Cournoise, Clairette, Bourboulenc, Picpoul, Roussanne, Terret Noir, Picardan, Vaccarese

Then look for an Austrian red in your local wine shop. Amidst all the Gruner and Pinot Noir, you should be able to find a blend that contains 2-3 of these unique grapes:
-Zwiegelt
-Blaufränkisch
-Blauer Portugieser
-St Laurent

Let me know when you hit 75!

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Reply by shot2pieces, Feb 24, 2009.

@Gregory - our winemakers are mostly enthusiasts, lately they mostly try to find out themselves which varieties will grow well and which won't. From what I know, and by no means I'm an expert, the most important varieties as of now are rondo (red) and seyval (white)... also muscat... Apparently the relatively unfavorable climate in Poland works well for these two. But hopefully you will hear about some efforts with more renowned varieties, such as riesling, pinot gris or pinot noir...

@RBoulanger - the wine production in Poland is reportedly a long story, but without much success (obviously). I'm sorry, but my knowledge is little and I can't expand much on it. However, I believe we owe a lot to the Germans, since the most important winemaking region in contemporary Poland is the Lubuskie voivodship, AKA ex-German "East Brandenburg". It's in the far west of our country, close to the Oder river. Zielona Góra, one of two main towns in the region, is a place in which the annual Wine Fest takes place (see: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Zielona_Góra_Wine_Fest).

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Feb 24, 2009.

Well at least you don't owe your winemaking heritage to the Russians!

That's not too far from Germany's Sachsen (Saxony) wine region. I would imagine that Riesling and friends could do well in the correct sites there.

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Reply by John Andrews, Feb 24, 2009.

I'm guessing (wild guess) that Baco Noir might be able to thrive in Poland as it does in the Niagara region in Canada.

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Reply by Rodolphe Boulanger, Feb 24, 2009.

Yeah, Baco and probably a whole host of other hybrids Seyval, Vidal, St Croix, De Chaunac, Chambourcin, Villard...

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Reply by JMSkelnik, Apr 11, 2009.

Theoretically Polish wines can be bought since 27th March 2009. But yesterday I did research in several online stores, and found nothing. Probably it's to soon. I'm looking forward to taste something Polish, because living in norther part of Poland, I never had opportunity to taste anything from Polish "private harvest". I shall report, as soon as I taste something!

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Reply by shot2pieces, Apr 15, 2009.

AFAIK this year's harvest will be nowhere near the retail... too little, too soon... Thus, we should try to go off the beaten track to, nomen omen, track them. The easier way is to wait a year or so...

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Reply by JMSkelnik, Apr 15, 2009.

There's a question if previous vintages can be sold under new regulations. If yes, than there's a chance to find something on a store shelf. I'm also from Poland, so if you will have any clue how to buy Polish wine, please let me know. I'm really curious about it's taste.


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