A private collection of various types of home made brandy stored in a small cellar in Dubňany
Mutěnice - Mootyenitse (as in a cow goes mooo) Dubňany - Doobnyanee Ratíškovice - Ratishkovitse Milotice - Milotitse
The region is renowned throughout the Czech Republic for its production of wine, frequently taking the top prizes in the country's wine competitions. Several of the country's important wine 'companies' are based in the region, but mostly the land is owned by locals who just enjoy producing wine as a hobby. The area outside the four main towns is dotted with small settlements composed entirely of wine cellars that locals use as a weekend getaway to relax and work in their private vineyards. Needless to say, the locals are more than enthusiastic to share the fruits of their hard labor with just about every passing individual.
Although the wine industry is flourishing, almost no other section of the economy around Mutěnice is growing. In addition to being fertile land for wine, there was a lot of mining activity under communism, all of which came to a grinding halt during privatization. This has the left the region with an unemployment rate of almost 20%. Don't let this dissuade you from visiting though, other than some distant decaying factories visible far off on the horizon, as a visitor you'd never know the region is undergoing an economic crisis of sorts.
The region is far off the beaten tourist trail running through Prague so be prepared to practice a bit of your Czech, or at least use your phrasebook. You most likely will encounter only Czech tourists during your visit, foreign tourists are practically unknown.
One of the many restored old cellars between Mutěnice and Dubňany
Presumably for those following this guide, bus will be the most common method of getting to the villages. There are two routes you can take when traveling by bus and they will most likely determine where it is you will be spending the night.
For those coming from Prague by bus you'll need at least a whole weekend to make this trip, starting around mid day on Friday and returning in the evening on Sunday. Thursday to Sunday would probably be better though.
For those coming from Brno you could make the trip over one day.
This bus leaves almost every 45 minutes from Zvonařka main bus station in Brno. The bus station is not far from the city center. If arriving from Prague be sure and buy a ticket to Zvonařka and not the Hotel Grand bus stop. Student Agency, the major Prague - Brno Bus operator does not run to Zvonařka. At Zvonařka, you will want to take the bus to Hodonín which leaves from the last bust stop of the second bus lane counting from the left. You can buy your ticket on the bus for under a 100kč. The ride takes about an hour but it is a very nice trip. You want to get off at Mutěnice, which will only be indicated by the white sign at the edge of the village. About a half hour into the trip ask someone to tell you when the bus has arrived in Mutěnice. If you miss the stop, continue on to Hodonín (another 10 minutes) and catch one of the many buses back to Mutěnice or to Dubňany depending on your preference.
Every Thursday and Friday at 2:30 there is a bus from Prague directly to Dubňany. Tickets can be bought at the Florenc main bus station for 220 kč, preferably in advance. This bus will stop in Hodonín, once you have left Hodonín ask someone on the bus to tell you when you have arrived in Dubňany. The trip from Hodonín to Dubňany takes about 10 minutes.
From Brno take the motorway towards Bratislava, about 15km before the border you will come to the Hodonín turn off. Take this, go to Hodonín and then follow a map the short distance to either Mutěnice or Dubňany.
A fishing pond on the bike trail between Mutěnice and Dubňany
The best way to get around is by bike. The towns are all only about 4km apart, far enough to make walking a bit of a journey but close enough to make a bike trip short and pleasant. If you stay at the 'Penzion San Marco' in Mutěnice they have bicycles for rent. If you stay with the Chytil family pension in Dubňany they are planning on having bicycles for rent, so if you email them ahead of time they will probably be able to arrange something for you.
If you aren't afraid of a good 5km walk, either Mutěnice or Dubňany will provide you with great wine tasting opportunities, a castle and some spectacularly beautiful nature. Also, if you want to get from town to town but are feeling a bit tired after all of that wine you have been drinking it should be fairly easy to hitch hike on the small town roads.
Located across the street from the restaurant 'U chytilů' (and owned by the same family), a two person room here runs from 700kč per night. The penzion is located in Dubňany on the road to Mutěnice. The family that owns this penzion also operates a separate penzion near the Milotice cellars. This second penzion (in Milotice is actually a part of one of the company's smaller wine producing operations. It is possible for the family to arrange parties there with live music or just take a tour of the cellar and the surrounding region. Several people in the company speak English.
This family actually runs two penzions, one on the main road to Brno in Mutěnice at number 727 and the other located on 'Vinařská 715' very near to the wine cellars in Mutěnice. You will want to make reservations well in advance as it says on their website they want 20 days advanced notice with a deposit, although you may want to just contact them and find out if they have anything free several days ahead of time. The owner of the establishment speaks English. They also rent bikes.
If from Dubňany you walk on the road towards Milotice, about 500 m (1640 feet) outside of the town you will come to a small dirt road lined on both sides by trees. Follow this road and another 500 m (1640 feet) you will find a large well decorated iron gate. This is the entrance to the Dubňany campsite. It is well maintained, not expensive and has good facilities. Since you have walked all of this way, you are also within a half kilometer of the Milotice cellars as well as the majority of the local population's vineyards.
There are lots of good places to just lay your head down next to a pond and sleep for the night, technically this is illegal but more than likely nobody is going to bother you.
There are three really beautiful 'settlements' of wine cellars in the area.
One is directly in Mutěnice on the road 'Vinařská.' This one should be incredibly easy to find.
The second is halfway between Mutěnice and Dubňany. Coming from Dubňany you will need to walk/run/bicycle down the road towards Mutěnice for about 1 km (0.6 mile), you will go past an old tall building on your right, over abandoned rail road tracks, past the lake and then follow the road as it veers to the left. Continue walking on the road through the thick forest and take the first small road to your right (perhaps 500 m (1640 feet) after passing the lake). There will be a small industrial looking building (its actually a chicken farm) with a large 40 km (25 miles) per hour traffic sign. Continue straight on this road another 500 m (1640 feet) and you'll come to the wine cellars and vineyards. This area is very 'uncommercial.' From Mutěnice, walk on the road to Dubňany look for a road to the left with the 40 km (35 miles) sign and the industrial looking chicken farm. Once you have gotten to the cellars if you continue straight you'll come to all of the vineyards on the hills. Its possible to go through these hills and eventually find your way back to Mutěnice.
The last group of cellars can be found by going to the campsite near Dubňany as listed below. Continue on the road that the campsite is on about a kilometer and then take one of the dirt roads that leads off to the left. Walk down the hill about 300 m (984 feet) and then you have either found the cellars or you'll need to take some road to your right a couple of hundred meters. This group of cellars are some of the most beautiful but also the most difficult to find so you may need to ask someone. Just make a wine drinking motion and draw a house and a cellar with you hands and if the person hasn't already invited you in to taste some wine he'll point you in the right direction.
Bicycle trips through the whole region
If you get a hold of a bike, there is one long marked cycle path that runs through the whole region that should be really easy to find (ask anybody) or just look for the big yellow signs with a the picture of a bike on them.
Squash and/or sauna in Dubňany
Open everyday including weekends, the Dubňany fitness center (named Želva or 'turtle' in Czech) is an excellent place to play squash, do miniature bowling, have a beer, go to the sauna or work out. The cost for squash is 190kč for an hour including rental of rackets and a ball. The community center is on the main road to Hodonín. It is a large modern building near to the road, if you have problems finding it just ask anybody where Želva is (the Z is pronounced like the 'su' syllable of Pleasure).
Swimming in Dubňany
During the warmer months the swim park is open in Dubňany. It is within 300 m (984 feet) of the želva fitness center, but ask anybody where it is while making swimming motions and they'll show you.
By using the contact email at either U Chytilů or Penzion San Marcos you should be able to find out when the next wine festival will occur. These are exciting events where many people dress up in the traditional Moravian clothing and dance to music played by a local brass band. Of course lots of wine and great food is available as well. Frequently they are held in one of the wine cellar villages allowing local wine producers to let visitors into their cellars.
The manor (Czech - zámek) in Milotice
On the northern side of Milotice there is a very large manor house (or castle) with extensive gardens that is well worth seeing. Until the 30th of September it is open daily. After which the opening hours will change (although the gardens remain open daily).
You may want to buy a bottle or two the white chardonnay from the Livi vineyards (owned by the Chytil family) as it is outstanding and according to a knowledgeable Frenchmen, on par with some of the better French wines. Home made Slivovice (plum brandy) should also not be hard to come by and well worth the 100kc for a bottle.
Presumably you have come to the region to taste the wines. Anywhere you go there will be a lot of great wines, but also there are some good local beers as well as every different type of home made brandy you can imagine.
When you are passing through a 'settlement' of wine cellars nothing will be for sale. The Czech government still has very heavy regulations about the production and taxation of alcohol which almost none of the weekend producers could possibly manage to comply with. The best way to try some of them is to think up any reason to stop and speak with somebody working in their vineyard or relaxing in front of their cellar. Ask for directions or something, it doesn't' matter, they will almost certainly invite you to 'ochutnat' (taste) some wine.
Almost all of the domestic wine producers do actually sell their wine but first you'll need to make friends with them (presumably by drinking their wine with them) if you want to buy some of their product.
You cannot purchase tickets in advance for this bus in Prague, only in Hodonín. More than likely it will be best to catch a bus in Dubňany to Hodonín and then take a bus from there to Brno and from Brno to Prague. This trip will take about four hours of travel. Check the bus schedule for buses leaving from Hodonín on the Internet on the day you want to head back before setting out on the journey.
Mutěnice to Brno
The bus back to Brno picks people up at the bus stop on the main road in Mutěnice. You can check the time schedule of the bus at the stop. The schedules can be a bit confusing to read so you may want to ask for help, but unlike Dubňany you don't necessarily need to know the exact bus time you want to return home on before you set out on your trip to Mutěnice.
Mikulov - Similar route as for Novosedly na Moravě
Kyov - You can take a bus directly from Dubňany to Kyov
This is a usable article. It has information for getting in as well as some complete entries for restaurants and hotels. An adventurous person could use this article, but please plunge forward and help it grow!