My name is Michal Kosorín and my project is about the revitalization of abandoned vineyards in Svätý Jur (Slovakia). The proximity of the capital city Bratislava makes Jur an attractive suburban area. That's why hectares of vineyards have been bought speculatively with the express intention of changing them into building sites. It's one of the most alarming reasons why vineyards have been abandoned.
For the third season I've been transforming neglected vineyards into functional ones. Which is the most effective form of combating unwanted development. It's hard laborious work but I just love it.
I took over my first vineyard in 2017. Added another one a year later. This season I decided I'd love to do this full time. I've already got one hectare of well restored vineyards without using any herbicides at all. Another two lots are waiting for revitalization before the next season.
The biggest benefits of my activities to society are:
- the preservation of the historical and cultural heritage and active action against excessive urbanization, which also threatens the natural reserve Jurský Šúr situated nearby.
- avoiding soil poisoning by carcinogenic herbicides, which are gradually being banned in some EU countries (Austria, France soon)
- making the country more attractive for agro-tourism.
- this project itself and my long-term presence on social media raises awareness about the problem of disappearing vineyards and the ways of sustainable growing as an alternative to (often) nature harming commercial practices.
The aim of my crowdfunding project is to raise funds to purchase basic wine cellar equipment so I can monetize the first harvest by selling wine. This would allow me to continue my work and devote myself full time to revitalizing abandoned vineyards. Starting a small winery was not my primary motivation, but is essentially a necessity for sustaining my family.
You can find records of my activities on Facebook and Instagram under the tag @lotrowin.
If by chance my project might appeal to you, I'd be really grateful if you would (except for direct support) helped me by forwarding the link with your personal recommendation to those who might find it worthy too! That's the best way to increase the chance of its success.
Here are a few words from people who know me personally and support my efforts.
Braňo Bahna – vintner & the owner of ViNOCENTRUM. Evangelist of low intervention vineyards and wines 😉 [Facebook & Instagram @vinocentrum, www.homewinery.sk]
I'd like to thank Braňo that he overcome his fear of speaking English and that he did the videos for me in both languages 🙏🏼.
Slovak version with subtitles is a recommended option.
English version in much shorter - just few words from Branňo 😉
Bea Vlnková – President of the Association of Sommeliers of the Slovak Republic [Facebook & Instagram @skolavina, www.skolavina.com].
Thank you very much Bea for overcoming your aversion to being filmed and for recording this clip "just for you (i.e. me)" 🙏🏼.
The historical backround in numbers
The first written mention of Jure dates back to 1209 AD, when it was already a developed viticultural town. At that time the vineyards here had an area of about 700 ha. During Communism the local collective farm worked with 450 ha. Nowadays only 200 hectares are being cultivated.
How did I get the viticultural bug?
Since 2014 I have started to get familiar with local winemakers, picking their brains about viticulture and cellar work. I have befriended many of them and gradually started to get involed as a helper in their wine cellars and vineyards. As an environmentally conscious person, naturally I got into the idea of restoring abandoned vineyards which inevitably resulted in me taking over my first heavily overgrown neglected vineyard in 2017. I found out very soon that I love working in vineyards so much that now I am trying to turn it into my full time occupation.
My vision & goals
My goal is to have all the revitalized vineyards in BIO/ORGANIC mode from next season. My plan is then to gradually increase the area of vineyards under cultivation, from the current one hectare to a minimum of two hectares, with the possibility of a further addition of "orphaned" vineyards.
My project is based on the long-term lease of the vineyards and wine-cellar. The core of my vineyards are rented out from 15 to 20 years. This secures the profitability of planting the new grafts.
I would need a total of about 96,000.- € (excluding any property or land buying) for setting up a fully equipped winery. For now I am focusing on basic equipment that will enable me to start production, generate revenue from wine sales and continue my efforts full time. That means about 19,000.- €.
Producing and actually selling wine is a long-term and not so easy process, especially when you are just starting out. Therefore, I would need some help, getting my project off the ground so that I am not burdened by the necessity of immediate repayment of commercial loans.
I have divided the budget into 3 segments.
a) cellar equipment
b) vineyard management
c) revitalization of vineyards
If any of you have a good idea for a relevant perk that wouldn't cost me a lot, please do not hesitate to let me know. I'll be very grateful.
Here in Svätý Jur we believe in motto “Drink local wine”,therefore within this project we would deliver physical products within the EU only. Any delivery outside the EU is both very costly and with a high carbon footprint at the same time.
Thereafter, all vouchers will have a lifetime validity (and you never know when you'll get to Europe!). Of course the vouchers can be also used as a gift to a third party.
I would like to thank Kristína (my partner) and my parents for their support. Especially to my father, who started helping me in the vineyards three times a week in the spring and he got so hooked that he's been now going to vineyards almost daily and he's been helping me loads. Without them I could not have got this far.