Slovakia is not yet internationally known for the quality of its wines, but that is all changing. The Malokarpatská vínna cesta—the Small Carpathian Wine Route—runs from Bratislava in the southwestern part of the country to the elegant Baroque town of Trnava, passing through a region of low-rise mountains where the clay and sandstone soils have enabled the growth of vines for more than 2,000 years. Stretching 25 miles (40 km) among the slopes of the Small Carpathian mountains, the local vintages include white Riesling and red Lemberger wines.
A highlight of a drive along the wine route is the chance to sample wines from the cellars of Cervený Kamen (Red Stone) Castle at Castá plus a number of small vintners whose cellars are open for tastings. Side trips can be made to several towns known for the quality of their wines, including Pezinok, Svätý Jur and Modra, which is also famous for its decorative majolica ceramics. Although exploring by car is the easiest way to get around, there are well-marked hiking and cycling tracks throughout the region—although much of it is national park, and camping is only allowed at certain official sites.