Persevering and not giving up pays more than ever in the wine industry today. The proof is THAYA winery, which turned its fourth participation in the prestigious industry competition Winery of the Year 2023 and Art of Wine into a triumph. It became the fourteenth overall winner and the best winery of last year by also winning the medium-sized winery category. Among the small wineries, the Válka winery succeeded and among the large wineries, the Štěpán Maňák winery.
THAYA winery is located in the village of Havraníky near Znojmo, where it has built a modern complex. Its basic philosophy is respect for nature and respect for the region, which after all is confirmed by the name of the winery, which in German means the river Dyje. For the first time, the winery participated in the competition in 2020, and in 2021 their chief oenologist Ing. Jakub Smrčka became Enologist of the Year, in 2022 the winery won the category of medium-sized wineries to now reach the title of the highestThe winery is now the winner of the medium winery category, and at the same time as last year.
"We run our winery with respect for naturě, with an emphasis on quality raw material, i.e. grapes, and with respect for the region, and this is further proof that we do it well. We will continue to do this, we certainly don't want to fall asleep, because the competition, which is actually friends from other wineries, is very strong. Our whole industry is moving forward at a rocket pace," said Ing. Jakub Smrčka, enologist of THAYA winery. "I am also glad to see that Znojmo has made a significant mark in this year's competition thanks to the award of Mr Vajčner, with whom I started my career at Znovín Znojmo. Znojmo was perhaps a bit sleepy at first, but now it is growing tremendously in terms of tourism and wine and has a huge potential for the future," he added.
The small winery category was dominated by Válka Winery, the oldest organic family winery in Moravia, located in Nosislav near Hustopeče. In the large winery category, the winery Štěpán Maňák from Žádovice in the Hodonín region won the first place. It is also a family winery, but it has grown into a large and successful winery in Slovácko, which has recently opened modern representative premises.
In addition to the absolute winner, other awards were traditionally announced under the guidance of moderator Mark Eben at the Brno Observatory and Planetarium. The award "LOMAX Enologist of the Year 2023 " - the prize for a young winemaker, enologist under 40 years of age - was awarded to Karel Novotný from the winery of the same name, whose wine is e.g. Novotnovo, who is also an oenologist at Štěpán Maňák winery. The "Prof. Vilém Kraus, CSc. Award" for an outstanding wine personality for his or her lifetime contribution to viticulture or winemaking was awarded to Ing. Pavel Vajčner, who for thirty years held the position of director of the Znovín Znojmo winery, one of the largest and most successful wineries in the Znojmo region. The "MENDEL Faculty of Horticulture Student Award" goes to Horák, a small boutique winery from the village of Vrbice in the Velkopavlovice region. And the prize for the "Act of the Year 2023" was awarded to the Dunajovské Kopce winegrowers' association for its exemplary association activities in the field of development of viticulture, winemaking and wine trade, consisting in the continuousThe constant search for new creative forms of cooperation and promotion of the local product at the level of all members of different sizes and market importance.
The award ceremony was preceded by a three-stage evaluation, where first a combination of the JUNIOR and SENIOR jury judging put the winery in the final and then the expert jury in a personalvisit to all the finalists' establishments, the wineries decided which best fulfilled the set criteria and, in particular, fulfilled the main idea of the competition, i.e. to exceed the common practice in the industry and to move it forward in the long term.
Traditionally, nine wineries competed in the finals. These were the small wineries Válka, Václav and Špalek. The medium-sized wineries were THAYA, Sonberk and KOLBY. And finally the large wineries Štěpán Maňák, Vladimír Tetur and CHÂTEAU VALTICE - Vinné sklepy Valtice.
Past winners of the title were the winery Škrobák, Víno J. Stávek, Vinselekt Michlovský, Bohemia Sekt, Hana Mádlová, Znovín Znojmo, Château Valtice - Vinné sklepy Valtice, Zámecké vinařství Bzenec, Vican family winery, REISTEN, twice Sonberk winery and lastly Jindřich Kadrnka.
The competition is announced and the title "Winery of the Year" is awarded by the Union of Winemakers of the Czech Republic in cooperation with the National Wine Centre, with significant support from the Wine Fund of the Czech Republic and the South Moravian Region. The event is organized under the auspices of the Governor Mgr. The general and titular partner is the new e-shop not only with wine Umění vína. The competition is also supported by the Brno Observatory and Planetarium, the Faculty of Horticulture at MENDELU and the Association of Sommeliers of the Czech Republic. The main partner is Vinolok, a manufacturer of glass closures. Other partners are Haier vinotéky, Lomax, Vetropack, ACO, SIAD, Generali Investments, S&K LABEL and Aquila.