Zilvar winery: Prague wines reaching a world-class pinnacle!

Zdenek Zilvar founded a new unique vineyard on a slate slope near the Vltava river and the tunnel Blanka in Troja. In his first vintage he produced Riesling and Pinot noir reaching a world-class quality. There is definitely a huge potential in this garage winery. Mr. Zilvar has made a progress to reestablish a glory of Prague viticulture during the reign of Charles IV. and Rudolf II. 

Key facts

Zdeněk Zilvar - the owner and winemaker

Ing. Zdeněk Zilvar studied viticulture and winmaking at WSET (Wine and Spirit Education Trust) in London and Faculty of winemaking and viticulture at UC Davis in USA. Afterwards he recovered vineyards and a boutique winery located in historical building of Popelarka in Prague – Troja.

Zdeněk Zilvar and his Pinot noir
Ing. Zdeněk Zilvar in the cellar of historical building Popelarka
Sorting of Zilvar's Riesling by hand
The Zilvar vineyards in Prague, Troja
Zilvar's vineyard, November 2020

If you go out of the Blanka tunnel towards Troja, you can see a steep hill (55 – 60°) with a south-west oriented vineyard on black slate soil. On  the area of  2.5 ha there are two varieties – Riesling and Pinot noir. 

Black slate as a soil of the Zilvar's vineyard
Zilvar's vineyard and the view on Troja bridge and the Big Sport Hall of Sparta Prague
The Vineyard recovery

Zdeněk Zilvar has grubbed up 350 tons of roots and another 60 tons of garbage from the squat. First vines were planted in 2015 and 2016. The year 2019 is the first vintage from the recovered Zilvar’s vineyard. 

The winery of Popelarka

Zilvar winery is situated in the farmyard of Popelarka on the corner of Trojska and Pod Lisem (= Below the Winepress) streets. The name of street used to be the only thing that reminded the winemaking glory of this farmyard. Vineyards were likely established  during a reign of the Charles IV., but maybe even earlier. The building Popelarka was named after the first proven owner Jakub Popelar. The first winepress is proved to be found in the 17th century. It was set in the old books that there were planted both Burgundian varieties as well as asparagus, apricots, sour cherries, cherries, greengage and walnuts.

Historical farmsted Popelářka and vineyards in the surroundings
Popelarka farmyard with vineyards nowadays

There was moved well-known Pomology institute to this place from Vinohrady. Later there was a school focused on winemaking and fruit-growing, one of the first ones in  Austria-Hungarian monarchy. It was established mainly thanks to Karel Němec, son of famous writter Božena Němcova. In the 60s of 19th century there were study halls, bedrooms for students and teachers.  In 1874 the building In 1874 the local Bohemian government become the owner of Popelarka.

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