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Sabile wine hill
Sabile Wine Hill can most certainly be considered the symbol of Sabile. Even the coat of arms of Sabile bears a cluster of grapes.
Sabile Wine Hill is the world's most northern open-air vineyard as mentioned in Guiness World Record Book.The top of the hill is approximately 34 metre high above the town and Abava River.
The top of the hill is approximately 34 metres above the town and Abava River.
Sabile Wine Hill has been created twice:first during the German reign (14th – 16S century) and then revived in 1936 during the first period of independent Latvia.During the reign of Duke Jacob, the vine culture in Sabile was supplemented by new sorts and the grape growing was expanding.This period (mid 17th century) is usually considered as the beginning of Sabile Wine Hill.
The strong and acidulous wine from Sabile Wine Hill was very popular both in the courts of the duchy and other European countries which imported this wine.The rebirth of Sabile Wine Hill in the 20th century started in 1936.Various sources mention that the initiative came from the president of Latvia of that time Karlis Ulmanis.
The revival of the Wine Hill and its yield during the period of independent Latvia is proven by the Latvian grape exhibition in 1939 in Jelgava, organized by Latvian Chamber of Agriculture. The exhibition also had a small stand of the first harvest of Sabile Wine Hill.
After WWII the arrangement of Sabile Wine Hill was continued by Pure Horticultural Research station.A time came when the managers of Wine Hill were changing, the intensity of work on the Wine Hill reduced and in the end the Wine Hill was not managed at all.Based on the enthusiasm of students the restoration of Sabile Wine Hill began in 1989.
The Wine Hill is 33,7m (~115m above the sea level).The total area of the vineyard is 1,5 ha.The vine plantation of the Wine Hill is enlarged on a regular basis:there are about 15 different sorts of vines, all together about 650 plants.The majority of these are breeds created by the Latvian selectionist Pauls Sukatnieks.The most common type of grapes grown on the Wine Hill is that of "Zilga" breed.Even such exotic plants as peaches, apricots and walnuts are grown on the Wine Hill.