Even though the world’s encyclopedias of wine give Slovakia only a brief mention and Slovak wines hardly fill large retail shelves or wine shops beyond the borders, Slovakia yet remains among the countries of the world whose wine and vineyards deserve the attention of visitors. The law currently classifies six wine-producing areas that are situated along the southern border: Little Carpathian, South Slovak, Nitra, Central Slovak, East Slovak and Tokay. The largest is the Little Carpathian Wine Region, where grapes are grown today on the southeastern slopes of the Little Carpathian Mountains around Hlohovec and Skalica, while the smallest and most exclusive wine-producing area is the Tokay Wine Region closely connected to the Tokay part of Hungary, limited to just a few municipalities. Starting in the mid-1990s, the wine-producing regions of Slovakia have contemplated the creation of wine routes to showcase Slovakia’s viticulture and combine the wine’s unique properties with local food specialties at visitors’ destinations. The furthest advanced one along this road is the Little Carpathian Wine Route, which is already offering a year-round schedule of vine-growing and wine-producing events and places to visit typical of the wine region.
The Little Carpathian Wine Route brings together several phenomena: the wine, countryside, history and food that can be found between the large centers of Bratislava and Trnava in southwestern Slovakia. This region includes three small cities that can boast the ancient tradition of free royal towns – Pezinok, Modra and Svätý Jur. They received these titles in the 17th century especially because they produced quality wines whose taste satisfied both kings and ordinary people in Vienna and also Bratislava, then the capital of Hungary.