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Czech Wine, Music flow at RiverRun

The Embassy of the Czech Republic participated in the Kennedy Center’s month-long festival RiverRun: arts nature impact, with the event Vintage Vltava: Czech Wine Tasting & Sounds of the Bohemian River. Over 250 guests attended the sold-out event that offered a tasting of Czech wines and a musical performance in Studio K at the Reach on April 13.

Czech Deputy Chief of Mission Jan Havránek thanked guests for coming to the event, as part of the festival celebrating the world’s rivers, the cultures they have spawned, and their role as life-sustaining and art-inspiring arteries that course through our planet. 

Havránek said, “The Czech Republic is known for two very prominent rivers - The Elbe, formed in the Krkonoše Mountains flowing southwest across Bohemia and into Germany as well as the Vltava (Moldau), the longest river in the Czech Republic.” Following his remarks, he gave the floor to wine sommelier David Furer.

Furer, who has been involved in winemaking and marketing for over two decades and currently hosts the Drinking on the Edge podcast, led the wine tasting. He guided the guests through eight Czech wines: Proquin Benedictus Extra Sec; Fučík 2020 Pinot Blanc; Fabig 2019 Sauvignon Blanc, SOUL Sahara Vineyard; Spielberg 2019 Riesling, Pleštice Vineyard; Thaya 2020 Zweigelt, Fládnická Vineyard; Nestařec 2019 Neuburger, Melancholia; Krásná Hora 2021 Pinot Noir; and Sonberk 2021 Pálava, Noble Rot. 

During his presentation, Furer welcomed Drew Hairston, Beverage Director of Maydan DC, to the stage. He spoke about his experience with some of the wines.

Between the first and second rounds of tastings, Furer presented a video created by noted architecture professor Henry Hanson IV, showing how wineries utilize the landscape to create unique experiences for guests.

Czech Cultural Attaché Jan Woska then introduced pianist Katelyn Bouska, a Professor of Music Studies at the Curtis Institute of Music. Known for her unique programming adding popular songs with rarely heard Czech music, she began the evening with Smetana's Vltava, from Má Vlast - evoking the songs of Bohemia longest river. She also did a beautiful sequence of modern music by Ivana Loudová, folk songs from Ostrava arranged by herself, and finished her performance with Ježek's Bugatti Step

The festival highlighted the importance of water and rivers to the environment, society, and art and culture, symbolically beginning on World Water Day, March 22, and ending on Earth Day, April 22.

Cultural Attache Jan Woska at the Czech Embassy said, “Rivers are where communities meet, where we grow, where we reap the benefits of the earth. It sustains us. This is one of our priorities – to take our environment and our water seriously – to protect our planet for future generations to come.” 

The event was made possible through the support of the Embassy of the Czech Republic, the Karel Komárek Family Foundation, and American Friends of the Czech Republic.