Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival

Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival
The city of Lviv is often referred to as the gastronomic capital of Ukraine. It is particularly famous for its coffee, chocolate, infused liquors (nalyvkas and nastoyankas), and traditional Ukrainian food. Every year, Lviv hosts numerous food festivals. One of them is the Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival that takes place every October.

Lviv is the biggest city and the most popular tourist destination in Western Ukraine, a region known for its winemaking and cheesemaking traditions. The Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival was created to celebrate the end of the wine harvest season in the region, to promote local wines and cheeses, and to expand the tourist season in the city.

The festival takes place near the Potocki Palace in downtown Lviv. Its main feature is an enormous market that offers only the best cheeses and most sophisticated wines from all over Ukraine, as well as regional organic products. The best part of the market is that most vendors offer free tastings and samples of their produce. The admission fee for attendees of legal drinking age (18 in Ukraine) includes a tasting wine glass with the festival logo.

One of the biggest attractions at the Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival is the traditional Great Stomp Ukraine Championship. It involves two-person teams that compete in grape stomping (crushing grapes by stomping on them with bare feet). Grape stomping isn’t used in contemporary winemaking anymore, but it remains a popular activity at wine festivals.

Each team consists of a stomper and an apprentice. The stomper stands in a barrel filled with grapes and crushes them, while the apprentice gathers the juice. The team that produces and gathers most juice wins. Besides, teams that show up in costumes receive special prizes.

Another big attraction at the Lviv Cheese & WineFestival is Syrnyk Day. In Ukrainian cuisine, syrnyks (sometimes erroneously translated as cheesecakes) are fried cottage cheese pancakes. They are traditionally sweet and served for breakfast or dessert, garnished with sour cream, honey, jam or apple sauce. The organizers of the Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival offer festival-goers a unique opportunity to eat a piece of a giant syrnyk cooked specifically for the festival.

In addition, the festival program includes lectures and workshops, food and wine pairings, wine tastings, live performances, special activities for kids, a land art area where you can relax and chill out, and other entertainment. You can even have your portrait painted in wine, isn’t it great?

Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival

Photo: Lviv Cheese & Wine Festival




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