The monastery of Louka was a pioneer of viticulture in Znojmo
The monastery of Louka
Viticulture in the Znojmo region has a long tradition. The first mention of wine cultivation was in the 12th century. At this time the Premonstratensians founded the cloister of Louka/Klosterbruck, which is today a national cultural monument adorning the city centre. They constructed vineyards, with the first of them put on the hillsides of Šobes, high above the river Thaya. Viticulture was significantly expanded during the medieval period by the Cistercians.
New knowledge came to Moravia from many kindred monasteries from around the world. In 1355 margrave Jan Heinrich issued a viticulture law for Moravia, and in 1375, Emperor Charles IV allowed for wine to be exported from Znojmo to Bohemia, Silesia, and Brandenburg. With time the Znojmo region came to be the most important wine-producing region of Moravia. The Louka Monastery became its biggest wine producer. After a while the citizens of the towns began to imitate the wine culture of the cloisters. They catered especially to white wines, with seedlings from France, Austria, and Hungary. Even poor people had their own wine cultivation. But towards the end of the 18th century, the decline of viticulture set in, as beer started to become more popular.
At the end of the 19th century and beginning of the 20th century, mildew and phylloxera set in. During the communist times, the vineyards around Šobes were used as a no-go zone along the Iron Curtain. With the fall of the wall in 1989, viticulture once again became important in south Moravia. Viticulture returned also to the monastery of Louka, and wine culture is supported by wine-related events.