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Are there any Polish wines worth purchasing?

PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jul 2011 #1
I've recently discovered a new found love for red wines (sweet). Apart from the tasty Californian, Australian or Argentinian which Polish wines if any are worth a try? (And by wine I don't mean a sulfur infested jabol)
pgtx 30 | 3,156
14 Jul 2011 #2
you do know that Poland is a Northern, cold country, right?
14 Jul 2011 #3
which Polish wines if any are worth a try?

Nothing you can buy in the US. Really. There is some half decent Polish wine but to get it in the USA, you'd need to buy it here and import it yourself.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jul 2011 #4
you do know that Poland is a Northern, cold country, right?

No I was only born there and lived there. But during the short hot summer weather something must be grown I've seen plenty of vineyards in Poland. People make swojskie wino in their homes so there's gotta be a few store brands.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
14 Jul 2011 #5
i wouldn't compare polish wines to wines from southern countries...
Poland can offer you excellent potatoes, as smashed with butter, or as wódka...
14 Jul 2011 #6
i wouldn't compare polish wines to wines from southern countries

Largely because you've never had any Polish wine.
pgtx 30 | 3,156
14 Jul 2011 #7
i have, but nice try...
FlaglessPole 4 | 669
14 Jul 2011 #8
Poland can offer you excellent potatoes, as smashed with butter, or as wódka...

You just gave me an excellent idea for Polish-themed party, where the main attraction is a vodka-soaked potato adorned with a white cocktail umbrella with red Solidarnosc-styled logo saying: We've arrived!

...or not?
pgtx 30 | 3,156
14 Jul 2011 #9
PRL-theme... there is a PRL bar in Krakow called "Spolem"... pretty cool
pip 10 | 1,659
14 Jul 2011 #10
There are vineyards around Sandomierz. The grapes are too young yet. Pre war there were loads of vineyards around that area. My husband works with a guy who owns a vineyard and is in the process of developing it into drinkable wine.

Poland is not a cold country. Canada has very good B.C. reds and Ontario whites- and that is bloody cold.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
14 Jul 2011 #11
How to make home made Polish wine Orange peels, raisins, 1kg of white rice, 1kg of sugar, spiced plums.

delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Jul 2011 #12
Apart from the tasty Californian, Australian or Argentinian which Polish wines if any are worth a try? (

The problem is getting them - I'm going to have a wine tasting party next week, and it seems impossible to buy anything that is actually consistently produced. I've found a local vineyard that sells their own - but still, the industry just seems too immature for mass produce. Either that, or the taxation is ridiculous - I bought a load of actually-drinkable Slovakian wine for 1 euro a bottle - yet you won't find anything in Poland for less than 3 euro.

If the local stuff turns out to be any good, I'll pass on their contact details.
15 Jul 2011 #13
Apart from the tasty Californian, Australian or Argentinian

It's blasphemy that you haven't mentioned South African wine.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
15 Jul 2011 #14
yet you won't find anything in Poland for less than 3 euro.

What about Arizona?

delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Jul 2011 #15
Drinkable, I said ;)

That's the place that I'm going to buy some bottles from and test.
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
15 Jul 2011 #16
That's the place that I'm going to buy some bottles from and test.

Almost every single Polish vodka and beer brand can be purchased here in the States but I don't recall ever seeing any wines.
delphiandomine 88 | 18,454
15 Jul 2011 #17
To be honest, it's a nightmare even trying to find somewhere that sells it - I tried two places, called "winoteka" and "winofera" - neither of them had any Polish wine. Even a place called "alkohol swiat" didn't have any - but they at least offered to source some.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
15 Jul 2011 #18
There is some half decent Polish wine

Can you give us any information on that Harry. I'd love to try good Polish wine. The only stuff I see is the chateaux park bench @ 4zł/l.
15 Jul 2011 #19
Personally I can't recommend anywhere, I don't drink much wine these days, only beer and whiskey (Polish beer and Japanese whiskey). However, I can give you a couple of links:

Here's an article from 2007 from a magazine I used to work for:


No joke: real wine is now being produced in Poland.

Very soon another vintage of Polish wine will ready for drinking - and not cherry or currant 'wine', mind you, but real wine made from grapes. The beginning of autumn is the most important season for all the Northern hemisphere's winemakers and several hundred of them are in Poland. From a global perspective their number is fairly insignificant. According to the Polish Central Statistical Office (GUS), in 2005 there were almost 2,000 vineyards in Poland but their total area amounted to a mere 155 hectares. While the unofficial number is really 200, the winegrowing areas are still minuscule.

Hungary's smallest winegrowing region - Somló - which occupies the slopes of only one small volcano, covers an area of more than 700 hectares and is considered to be very small. Meanwhile in Poland, a vineyard which takes up more than one hectareis thought rather sizeable. Despite that the ranks of winemaking enthusiasts are getting bigger and bigger and these are no small-time hobbyists either, they are people seriously involved in the production and distribution of wines which aspire to meet all EU requirements and be "good" rather than just "interesting".

The end of June 2006 saw the gathering of several dozen wine producers in Warsaw. They had come to attend the first ever Polish Winemakers' Convention organized by the Polish Institute for Grapevine and Wine (!) and Wine magazine. Among the participants were only those winemakers whose vineyards are bigger than five acres and who grow the types of vines which have been approved by the EU. A dozen winemakers decided to present their wines at the wine-tasting event. There was a sweet Cabernet Sauvignon from the outskirts of Warsaw and the almost mineral Hibernal from near Kazimierz Dolny on the Vistula river; there was the appetizing Seyval Blanc from a vineyard close to Nowa Sól in the Lubuskie region; there were red wines from the Rondo grape, very popular in Poland, hailing from such seemingly unusual places as Suwałki or the Mazuria lake district; there was the excellent Sibera from the Podkarpacie region which would undoubtedly win a blind-tasting competition with many a Moravian wine. The first Polish Winemakers' Convention has proved that good wines are being produced all over Poland.

The Polish winemaking tradition had been dead for years. However, those who associate it only with the Zielona Góra region or Krakow's wine cellars where tokaj used to age for Polish noblemen are obviously quite wrong. Grapevines were commonly grown in the south of the country, which is clearly visible in the surviving names of villages and small settlements. Gołuchowo in the Great Poland region still boasts the remains of a vineyard from 1878. Wine was also commonly made in Podole, outside the borders of modern Poland. Wine parades were still organized in Zaleszczyki [a town in Podole in what is now western Ukraine] until the 1930s.

Few modern Polish winemakers can take advantage of their ancestors' knowledge of where to set up a vineyard. The Italian or French winemakers do not have this problem - best areas for growing vine are already well established there. The locations of new Polish vineyards have often been the result just blind-guesses. However, it seems that the times of "chance choices" are over. Kolonia Rusek Vineyard is a case in point. This small vineyard, located in the close vicinity of Ryn in the Mazuria lake district, produces wonderful wines. Its owner, Wiktor Bruszewski, carefully chose the place for planting his vines: a steep slope by the lake, facing south-western for good exposure to the sun but well protected from the wind. He was aided by one of the top Polish specialists in vine-growing and winemaking, Wojciech Bosak from the Polish Institute for Grapevine and Wine. Some years ago Bosak was involved mainly in organizing wine-tasting events for wine connoisseurs; now dozens of people enrol to his viticulture and winemaking courses.

Roman Myśliwiec is the guardian spirit of the Polish winemaking industry. He is certainly the most experienced producer and, above all, a tireless experimenter. In 1982 he set up his Golesz Vineyard near Jasło; today he grows five thousand grapevines in the area of one and a half hectares - many of them sent to him from research stations in Hungary, Moldova, Russia, Ukraine, the Czech Republic and Germany, as well as from the USA and Canada (countries whose climate is fairly cool, too).

Myśliwiec admits that his main aim is to check the suitability of particular varieties for Polish weather conditions. He makes his living selling vine saplings and has a considerable circle of "disciples" - people who studied viticulture and winemaking in Golesz. It is difficult to name a type of wine which this 'Polish Dionysus' has not tried to produce: white and red, sweet and dry, reinforced, and late-harvest wines. Some day his followers are bound to erect a monument in his memory, for he has been a true pioneer, blazing the trail for those who in a couple of years' time will be involved in large-scale production of wine in Poland.

The Jaworek family are Myśliwiec's polar opposite. They are the owners of Poland's biggest vineyard, measuring 16.8 hectares. They started in 2000 as hobbyists; now they produce wine, experiment with different honeys, and run a sapling plantation. Their enterprise can serve as a model for many winemakers. Wine production is for them not only part of a business, but also a labour of love. "We wish to recreate the grapevine grafts which used to be grown in Lower Silesia before 1945," they write in their statement.

On 3 September the Miękinia Vineyard represented its region in the Zielona Góra Grape Harvest, a wine festival held in the old winemaking-capital of Poland. There was a grape harvest market and a grape harvest funfair for the children; the Winemaker's Cottage organized meetings with the wine producers; and there was also a nightly Bachus run along with a Bachus Cup tennis tournament.

In Poland it is still easier to import wine from New Zealand than to launch Polish wines on the domestic market. This is the result of the costs imposed by the laws concerning winemaking. According to these laws, wine can only be produced in the area of the defined as a tax depot. Roman Myśliwiec maintains that the conditions under which such a depot can be run are very difficult for even the large producers to fulfil. "If we are talking about producing two to three thousand litres of wine annually, which would be worth several hundred thousand zloty, these requirements do seem quite ridiculous. And this is exactly the scale of production which the majority of Polish farmers are interested in - those who have already set up their vineyards or are planning to do so," says the 'Polish Dionysus'. "Permits to run a tax depot are issued by the head of the Customs Office. He can refuse to issue them on the basis of such an enigmatic buzzword phrase as a "threat to the major public interest". The permit can also be withdrawn (which means halting production) for being even seven days behind with one's social security payment (ZUS)," complains Myśliwiec.

Social security is another serious problem for the winemakers. According to the Polish law, they have to make ZUS payments, and not - like other farmers - the lower KRUS rates. "Producing wine by growing grapevines is farming! It is nature that decides if the harvest is good or bad. You cannot expect a winemaker to pay ZUS like an entrepreneur. After all, like any other farmer, they can suffer from drought, hailstorms, or freezing weather and then there will be no wine," says Bruszewski.

Fortunately, Polish winemakers do not seem to be discouraged by these problems. They firmly believe that quite soon they will not only organize wine-tasting events but also sell their wines. And that their vineyards will become a major tourist attraction for agro-tourism enthusiasts. They also believe that their wine will get better and better every year.

Polish wine is still rare in shops, so it is difficult to recommend one in particular. Some names, however, are worth remembering. It might be interesting to follow the vineyards' development and - for the time being - look for the wines at Polish trade fairs and wine-tasting events.

GÓRZYKOWO on the Oder - Stara Winna Góra Vineyard
MIĘKINIA - Jaworek Vineyards
RUSEK WIELKI - Kolonia Rusek
PODGÓRZ near KAZIMIERZ DOLNY - Pańska Góra Vineyard
DAROMIN - Płochocki Vineyard
JAS£O - Golesz Vineyard
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
15 Jul 2011 #20
you do know that Poland is a Northern, cold country, right?

So is Britain, but take a look a this :)

Californian, Australian or Argentinian

Bulgarian reds are yummy yummy yummy - really heavy and fruity - a glass can last me up to two hours because the flavour's so nice they have to be savoured...
15 Jul 2011 #21
So is Britain, but take a look a this :)

No surprise there, champagne is basically a British invention.
Amathyst 19 | 2,702
15 Jul 2011 #22
True, the English sparkling one is expensive (although very nice) but I'll stick with Laurent-Perrier which is lovely.
Polonius3 1,000 | 12,446
15 Jul 2011 #23
Why doesn't someone develop a piątniak -- semi-dry Polish mead which could serve as a table wine? The sweeter versions -- półtorak, dwójniak, trójnika, even czwórniak -- are excellent dessert wines, but to serve at diplomatic banquets during the Polish Presidency something drier would be required. I understand Hungarian Tokay is being served at such banquets in a throw-back to the Old Polish szlachta tradition of quaffing węgrzyn.
teflcat 5 | 1,032
15 Jul 2011 #24
Thanks Harry. The Japanese whiskey's all yours.
15 Jul 2011 #25
The Japanese whiskey's all yours.

Spoken like a man who has never tried any Japanese whisky!
Marynka11 4 | 676
15 Jul 2011 #26
What is actually Miod Pitny? Is it considered a wine?
OP PennBoy 76 | 2,436
15 Jul 2011 #27
What is actually Miod Pitny?

Honey based liquer somewhat stronger than wine. It can still be purchased it was very popular from the middle ages till the 18th century. If you watched Ogniem i Mieczem or Potop that was what they usually drank.
boletus 30 | 1,366
15 Jul 2011 #28
What is actually Miod Pitny? Is it considered a wine?

Miód pitny = a mead. Meads are made by fermenting of water and honey solution, often slowly boiled first, and often flavored with various spices, fruits or hops. Because the fermentation is involved it could be considered a wine, or at least some cousin of such. During middle ages weak meads, flavored with hops, were almost as popular as beers among lower military ranks.

In Polish tradition there are several classes of "miód pitny", describing honey/water ratio,
1. Półtorak, 1 :1/2. Extremely sweet and strong.
2. Dwójniak, 1 : 1 . Acceptably sweet still strong. Both often called "Royal". Require up to 8-10 years of slow fermentation and maturing

3. Trójniak, 2 : 1, most popular. 1-4 years of maturing
4. Czwórniak, 3 : 1, a.k.a. "obozowy"= camp mead. Good to drink after several months.

Do not confuse meads with honey based liquors, such as Lithuanian krupnikas or its Polish cousin "Krupnik".
teflcat 5 | 1,032
15 Jul 2011 #29
Spoken like a man who has never tried any Japanese whisky!

True. Just joking. I wouldn't be at all surprised to find they can do it. Why not? Making booze is simple enough.
I once had a student from Kazakhstan who recommended Kazakh brandy, advising me to buy only the 5-star. I thought he was kidding but I tried it and found it to be as good as any French stuff I'd ever had, except for Martell Cordon Blue. As an afterthought I said to this guy, "Hang on, you're muslim. You shouldn't drink alcohol." He replied, "Yes, but in Kazakhstan we only drink at night, when Allah can't see us."
Seanus 15 | 19,706
15 Jul 2011 #30
As a Scot, Japanese whisky is very good. I feared buying Suntory Zen over there as it was cheap. However, it was GREAT value for money. Sean Connery himself actually advertised it.

Polish wines? It's not the best country for wine though there was a name I was given that escapes me now. It began with M. Shucks, I can't remember.

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