Wine tasting/ photo via Istock

Vinobraní wine festival at Prague 2’s Grébovka canceled over coronavirus concerns

Prague 2 officials decided they could not guarantee the public’s health at the large open-air wine festival in September

The grape growing season has barely gotten under way, but Prague 2 has already decided to cancel the annual vinobraní harvest festival at the Grébovka villa, which would normally have taken place in September, due to the coronavirus.

The Prague 2 administration decided to cancel the popular event after considering possible impact on the health and safety of potential visitors. Havlíčkovy sady, where the Grébovka villa is located, has an urban vineyard that produces wine.

The harvest festival also attracts growers from across the Czech Republic, as well as vendors of food and other items. Some 30,000 people in recent years have visited the two-day event. In addition to wine, usually from the previous year, a popular feature of the harvest festivals is burčák, the partly fermented fresh grape must that can only be sold from stands as it can’t easily be packaged.

“Vinobraní in Grébovka, after careful consideration of the whole situation and possible risks, unfortunately will not be [held] this year,” Prague 2 Mayor Jana Černochová said on Facebook.

“Believe me, we have been postponing this decision for a long time. However, the epidemiological situation is constantly evolving and we are still not sure when and under what conditions mass events will be able to take place at all. We cannot prepare the production and contractual provision of one of the most attended events in the metropolis in this uncertainty. That would be really irresponsible,” she added.

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“We are very sorry that we will not continue the vinobraní tradition this year, but we cannot gamble on human health. Of course, we also considered other alternatives and capacity limitations, but all this would be at the expense of the level to which visitors to our vinobraní are accustomed. I hope we make up for it all next year! … Vivat Vinobraní in Gébovka 2021” she said.

Eight grape varieties of wine are grown in the vineyard in Havlíčkovy sady, and up to 10,000 liters of wine are pressed from the local grapes every year.

“I believe that this year’s vintage will be great again — I’m just sorry that I will not be able to have a drink with you in our beautiful Grébovka in the autumn. … I’m sad,” she concluded.

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This would have been the 14th year for the harvest festival. Other harvest festivals in Prague so far have not made any announcements.

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