Sunday, August 29, 2010

Moravsky sklipek v satove, Part 4. More of the painted cellars.

In the Music Lounge, there were several paintings of "the Reminiscences of Youth", where there may also have been a sandstone stage for musicians. Pictures included the view over Znojmo with the railroad bridge, the Risenrad or giant Ferris wheel in Vienna (Prater Park), the Vranov Chateau, Vienna City Hall and a portrait of the painter with a lion.
More of the Tyrol landscape from the Arbor Room....
In the main corridor between the entrances to the lounge rooms on the left-hand side, are pictures of the Satov Coat of Arms, Sleeping Beauty, Little Red Riding Hood, still life pictures, the Prague Castle and the Charles Bridge, Znojmo Castle with a water tower, harvesting potatoes, dubbing of a wine-maker, and the shield of the artist:

Some of the paintings redone in later years by the artist include this one with a tractor in a field.

Other miscellany including the Seal of the Rozenberg Family (one of the many past ruling families in Bohemia).
And then of course, the stairway entrance down to the another floor of wine cellars (we weren't allowed to go down there).
And other scenes and carvings...

Not all of the paintings in the cellars are originals. The artist returned many times and redid some of them, as well as completely changing some to fit in with 'the times'. The one below of St. Hubert has never been repainted (this is in the Hunting Lounge). It dates to 1934, just as the company Jaegermeister (which is shown on the bottles).
Other paintings were redone completely, such as the 1950s Prague Castle....a remade picture over a previous portrait of Hitler (done when after he invaded Czechoslovakia).

Saturday, August 28, 2010

Moravsky sklipek v satove, Part 3. We view the painted cellars.

As you descend the stairway, already the bright painting and carvings appear.....gnomes carrying grapes, making wine, sipping some, too, so it seems!
Then you see the main corridor, with numerous paintings on them, along with the many side rooms....

 A few Czech drinking songs to cheer us!

Mark enters the Blue lounge, decorated with 5 still life pictures.

Next is the hunting lounge with pictures of deer and St. Hubert.....
and on to the arbors of Tyrol.

Moravsky sklipek v satove, Part 2. The painted cellars.

We followed our noses from the previous winery, heading through town, and up around the hilly streets, following the signs...

to this small winery perched on the hill. All of these wineries are on a bike trail, so numerous people were slogging up the hill on this hot, hot afternoon.
Everyone's ready to go inside (note the green roof!), cool off and taste a bit of wine and see the paintings!

First, to sign the guest book and then pay 30 Kroners for a tour and a sip of Ryzlynk Rynsky, a somewhat sweet white wine that tasted good after being out in the heat.  Mark seems to be enjoying it!
Then a bit of history about this painted wine cellar.  The cellar dates prior to 1884, no one knows when it was first dug or by whom. In 1884, Jakub Peschka owned it and numerous other owners since. It is now owned by the Znovin Znojmo (the one we just came from!). From the grape press room (where we are now), you will descend on a long stone staircase into the wine cellar dug into the sandstone. The cellar is 12 m underground; the main corridor is 26 m long, with a curved passage corridor 20 m long and numerous side rooms. The wine is actually stored below this level (no one could go down there, it was a tiny staircase).
The artist doing the painting and chiseling in the cellars was Maxmilian Appelteuer (1904-1972), who worked in the Moessner Winery, the Wine and Fruit Cooperative and in the state-owned winery in Satov (1953-). He did all of this on his leisure time from 1934 - 1968, spending another four years correcting mistakes and doing maintenance. He had only one arm (his left arm was amputated below the elbow), painting without lights (candles on his hat!).
Here he is!
Let's descend the stairs....because, after all, "In vino veritas"!

Moravsky sklipek v satove (Moravian Vineyards in the city of Šatov)

Last Sunday we ventured to western Moravia for a day trip to visit some of the wine country, see a couple of vineyards and enjoy the sunny, beautiful weather. It was a 2.5 hour drive heading east from Ceske Budejovice to get to the tiny town of Šatov. We were headed there, based on a tip from Dr. Gary Gardner (a colleague of Neil's in the Dept. of Horticultural Science at the University of Minnesota), to see the famed painted and carved cellars in one of the wineries.  Let the adventures begin!

First, we headed to visit the winery near downtown. Each of the wineries here have their cellars dug into the soft limestone underneath the city. The cellars are lined with brick or stone for aging the wine, of well as dining, and so forth.

So, the first winery we went to was....well you can read it (Znomin znojmo):
Come, let's go inside and explore the cellars!  Enter through that little door on the left, please.....
We descended the steep, steep stairs (Mark holding on for dear life and using his cane).....down to the cellars.
We were the only ones in the lit cellar....hmmm....Neil had thoughtfully brought along our lunch (we were famished and it was delightfully cool in the cellar, so here were tables and benches.....let's eat! After some crackers, cheeses, fresh apples, plums, and water (we hadn't yet found the wines) we felt refreshed. And kept wandering about.
Aha...Mark spies a bottle! And the cellars were full of them!...
It was quite the place.  Great Cabernets and lots of intriguing white wines, too.
We came back up from the cellars (you had to taste either upstairs in the restaurace (restaurant) or outside here under the grape arbor...
Feeling wonderfully re-energized after the long drive, we headed off to the next to see the famed painted cellars!