If you travel to Latvia and someone would offer you to try Latvian-made wine, you would likely be surprised. And that’s perfectly reasonable because when you consider Latvia’s geographical location, it would seem that growing grapes in this country would be nothing short of a pipe dream. But in reality, Latvians have been making wine for years, and not just from grapes, but from fruits, berries and even flowers! In this article, we’ll look at some of the Latvian wineries worth visiting not only for the beverages but also for their unique atmosphere.
“Mazburkas” household winery
This household near Engure have been biologically growing grapes for 15 years. During the on-season, it’s possible to try the berries themselves, but “Mazburkas” is also a fantastic place in which to spend your holidays. You can spend the night in one of household’s cabins and enjoy the evening in a hot tub with a view of the vineyard. Did we mention that “Mazburkas” also farm sheep? Now that’s true rural bliss!
This acclaimed winery is located in Gauja National Park, providing the winery with the goods for making wine. We’re sure that the beverages made from berries, plants and fruit will manage to surprise even experienced wine experts. Līgatne winery offers more than 20 varieties of wine, so it’s safe to say that there’s a lot to experience. They say that the Līgatne wine tastes especially well if you try it in the sandstone cave right on the shore of Līgatne river.
It’s been said that a long time ago in the valley of Abava river, there once were the world’s northernmost vineyards, but now it’s home to a household of several families, which are making wine by following old traditions, while using modern methods. It’s possible to purchase the beverages of Abava winery in many of the largest stores, but undoubtedly the widest selection is found at their own shop in Slampe. You can also visit the vineyard in Sabile and spend some time in a small or large company in the winery itself.
This winery is located in Krape Manor in Lēdmane Parish, and it’s been named after the owner’s grandfather, whose apple trees were the basis for the winery and cider brewery in modern times. LAUSKIS offers to purchase their beverages on the web while offering delivery options as well. The wine made from various berries and plants, as well as the cider will definitely be a great souvenir for yourself or others!
This winery was established in 2010 and it’s located in the cellar of Aizpute New Castle Manor. The Santi family, who run the winery, hold wine-making tradition in high esteem and are especially proud of the handiwork that goes into every step of the wine-making process. The ancient arched wine cellar is also a great place to host a party or just try the wine itself, which is created from the berries and fruit grown in the region.
Have you ever tried a wine that’s made from dandelion flowers? In Durbe you can do just that. This winery offers more than 10 different varieties of wine and fruit or berry liqueur. This winery also offers possibilities for accommodation and a banquet hall, as well as a web store to purchase their products.
The Zilveri family household in Sigulda crafts various beverages from fruits and flowers, but their unique trump card is the Apple Seizing - when in early spring the winery’s visitors are offered a chance to choose an apple blossom and capture it in a bottle for it to grow into an apple during the following months.
Wine made from birch sap - is there a more Latvian twist to wine-making? The wide array of beverages made birch sap aside, the Liberti family also offers a tour for up to 80 people in their unique wine cellar, and a kit for draining your own birch sap.
“Drubazas” isn’t just a winery. Over here, you can take a walk on the 2km long botanical trail and take a look at various protected plants, to see Galloway cows, participate in some physical activity in the specially dedicated sports area, and of course - to try some of the wine that’s made from 80 different varieties of grapes and various plants and berries.
“We have almost as many types of wine as there are berries and flowers in all of Latvia,” says Jānis Mikans, the main winemaker of Krimulda Manor. “Cremon'' winery makes about 15 different types of wine, 10 types of liqueur, and even their own gin and calvados. You can try the wine on a special degustation menu or take a special tour, during which you will also be introduced to the history and traditions of the manor and its vicinity.