You are here
Sabile Wine Hill
Sabile Wine Hill is the town symbol and has also been included in the Guiness World Record Book as the most northerly vineyard in the world.
The 34-meter high hill is 1.5 hectares in area, and has approximately 25 varieties of grapes growing on it, which are regularly replenished. Overall, the vineyard has about 800 grapevines, most of them varieties created by Latvian wine and grape specialist Pauls Sukatnieks. The Zilga grape is the most common grape variety grown in the vineyard. Next to the grapevines grow other exotic fruit trees and plants, like, for example, peach trees, apricot trees and walnut-trees.
Sabile Wine Festival
Honoring the town symbol – Wine Hill – Sabile has organized its annual town festival each summer (final weekend of July) since 1999, which is also called the Sabile Wine Festival. The festival always gathers many of Latvia’s winemakers, who organize a wide variety of wine tastings. The festival also features the annual lighting of a fire sculpture, a theatrical boat trip on the Abava River, as well as many other merry events.
History of Wine Hill
Sabile Wine Hill was first established between the 14th and 16th centuries. During the reign of Duke Jacob (middle 17th century), the wine culture in Sabile was supplemented by new sorts and grape growing was expanded. This period is usually seen 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 the Pure Horticultural Research station. A time came when the managers of Wine Hill continued to constantly change, 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.
In 1992, work on the development of the hill was halted once again. In 2003, the Agriculture Ministry gave up its property rights to the hill in favor of the Sabile Regional Council. At the moment, the hill is the property of the Talsi Regional Council.