19 : 45 . I come from Southern Slovakia and the winemaking there is strongly influenced by the traditional winemaking in Hungary. This is why I prefer to talk about Central European wines. Wine is able to create its own identity and that is one of the many reasons I love it (He pauses) – Can I order another glass now ? Should we try the ‘Syrah’?
Jozef works for a Slovak member of the European Parliament and covers the REGI committee*. He also does work back home with local (Central European) winemakers.
The liaison between winemaking and humankind has always been present in European culture ; it comes from the Roman times and today we are still very much attached to our wine traditions. In the medieval times even, drinking wine had a spiritual aspect : monks drank wine not to get drunk but to get elevated and get connected to God. I drink wine not to get drunk but to find answers to my philosophical conundrums (He laughs)
I believe it is important to stimulate regional development and incentivize wine makers at the local level, which means stimulating activity in the countryside. Because in order to produce wine, one must be physically present next to the vineyard : in order to protect the wine and take care of it.
Of course, every wine variety has its own characteristics and differs according to the region where the wine is grown. The techniques and approaches used are different. Still, I like to focus on the fact that in the end, we are all doing the same thing. Wine transcends barriers and connects people.
*The REGI committee at the European Parliament is responsible for the European Union’s regional development and cohesion policy, notably the redistribution of structural investment funds within the EU’s regions.
N.B. The European Union is the world leading producer of wine.