It would be disrespectful to visit the stunningly beautiful city of Kraków and not visit the Wawel Castle at the end of the royal walk. Although everything in Kraków speaks of history and reflects the beauty of craftsmanship throughout the ages, the Castle simply ‘confronts’ the first-time visitor with its sheer presence, power, eerie beauty and long, long, long history. This astonishing, vast, fortified structure and grounds wraps the visitor in royal history; the courage and intelligence of its people, the Faith of the community and the Polish tendency to survive under any conditions. Magnificent!

Our Sokol family heritage took us back to the Medieval area of Galicia and Lodomeria (Halyčyna Włodzimierz in Polish), where the very first mulled wine was created (sorry, not in Germany!). We presently use an old family recipe handed down over time to create a wonderful mulled wine in our Katya Vineyards tasting room…..but, we wished to find and validate the ‘original’ millennia old product in the homeland.

Thus, our heritage as the Sokol family brings us to the lands of Poland, the Czech Republic and the city of Liviv in the Western Ukraine. Specifically, we desired to immerse ourselves where our branch of the family tree seems to have originated, Kraków and the surrounding environs. While in Kraków we are ‘on the hunt’ for any vestige of the mulled wine creation so many centuries ago.

Aha! While Patricia and I were enjoying the sights of Kraków, we impulsively entered one of the many small, dusty, family-owned corner stores to buy a bottle of sparkling water Mocny Gaz (strong gas). As we were paying for the water, we noticed a small number of bottles of wine and liquor against the wall. To our amazement, there sat an expensive (by Polish standards) dusty old bottle of……Grzaniec Galicyjski, VIP Selection, 13.5%…the ancient recipe for mulled wine. We purchased the bottle immediately. You will need to visit the Katya Vineyards Tasting Room this Fall to experience this historic drink of the ancient Slavs! Na Zdravie!