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Welcome > Estonian Rye Route

Estonian Rye Route


Participating organisations


Estonian Ministry of Agriculture

Ministry of Agriculture is supporting the development of website. The areas of activity of the Ministry of Agriculture are drafting and realisation of national agricultural development plans and effectuation of corresponding measures, regulation of activities related to the processing of agricultural products, agricultural market regulation, the national stockpiles of basic grain seed and food grains, food control and supervision, plant protection, veterinary medicine, animal and plant breeding, land improvement. The Ministry provides agricultural research, education and training, and prepares relevant draft legislation. For additional information visit the website


Sangaste Rye Village

Sangaste Rye Village is a little lovely village among hills and rye fields, with the smell of warm home-baked bread greeting the visitors. The villagers are happy to introduce the story of the  Sangaste castle and rye, the pristine nature and local life. This is a developing network of local tourism enterprises, guides, hunters, handicraft masters, activity providers, farms etc. For additional information visit the website


Sangaste Manor House

Development of a building project of the Sangaste Manor House was initiated by count Friedrich Georg Magnus von Berg already in 1873. The project of the manor house was designed by the Baltic German architect Otto Pius Hippius. Construction work of English Gothic Revival architectural style manor house lasted from 1880 to 1883. The crenelated gables and walls, small towers and arch windows make it a real fairy-tale castle. Initially the castle had 99 rooms. During reconstructions the number of rooms was increased to 149. The most gorgeous are the Gothic style arched vestibule, eight-cornered dome hall reaching through two floors, cabinet with Moorish decor and the English-style dining room in Hunting Hall with dark wooden finish. On the second floor is situated the Library with some original furniture and the Rye Room with an exhibition aobut the life and work of count F. G. M. von Berg. The third floor leads to the observation tower. In 1912 the Sangaste manor estate was declared one of the best in Russia. Th outhouses are numerous; several of them are red brick stone buildings similar to tohe manor house. There is an arboretum behind the castle with 490 different species of trees. In the park at the back of the castle is an oak tree allegedly planted by Peter the Great. For additional information visit the website


Estonian Museum of Agriculture

The Estonian Museum of Agriculture, which preserves and introduces the history of agriculture and the cultural heritage of rural life, is located near Tartu City in the former Ülenurme Manor complex on a territory spanning 13 ha. The museum offers the possibility to visit exhibits introducing the development of agriculture and rural life. Come see a unique straw and birch bark exhibit and make straw and birch bark jewellery. Gain knowledge of forging and carpentry, and handicraft traditionally practiced by women. Take part in field work, reap rye with a sickle, get to know different cereal crops, grind cereals into flour with a quern-stone, bake bread, churn butter and taste warm bread. The protected manor park offers a relaxing getaway and the chance to enjoy riding in a horse-drawn carriage or sleigh. In the cafe, which features nature-themed exhibitions, you can purchase national souvenirs, publications and various soft drinks, coffee, snacks, pastries, and when pre-ordered, national dishes and warm bread as well. In addition, there is a playground for children. For additional information visit the website


Estonian Crop Research Institute

Estonian Crop Research Institute is a state research and development institute in area of governance of  Estonian Ministry of Agriculture. Research and development activities of the institute support increase of efficiency and competitiveness of agricultural production, mitigate negative impact of agricultural production on the environment and help in the maintenance of agrobiodiversity. The main activities of the  Estonian Crop Research Institute on Rye Route project are presenting breeding of environmentally adapted rye varieties, production of certified seed, research activities, ex situ conservation of plant genetic resources of rye, paricipation in international projects, conduction of field and demo trials, and arrangement of exhibitions of rye varieties. For additional information visit the website


Estonian University of Life Sciences

Estonian University of Life Sciences is the only university in  Estonia whose priorities in academic and research activities provide the sustainable development of natural resources  necessary for the existence of Man as well as the preservation of  heritage and habitat. The academic structure is composed of research and development institutes or institutions, centres and other structural units. Currently, teaching and research is carried out in five institutes. For additional information visit the website



Olustvere School of Rural Management

Initially the school was established in 1914 in Kõo Manor as a Lower Agricultural School. At present days the school is responsible for different vocational and educational programmes for basic school and secondary school graduates and provides different courses for continuing education and retraining. The school specializes in educational activities in sectors of rural management and services. The ultimate goal is to merge education on agricultural production, processing of agricultural products and food making into integrated education complex. To ensure high-level production modern agricultural technology and equipment are available for training purposes. In cooperation with the Estonian Research Insititute of Agriculture, the study farm is engaged in research activities. There are different courses on manufacturing meat and milk, bakery and confectionary products. Special attention is paid to developing new products. The bakery is involved in manufacturing and marketing of rye flour, natural rye starter culture and different kinds of rye bread. The bakery plays an important part in catering of the visitors to the manor. At the permanent exhibition children, students and adults can participate in the study programme. The visitors to the bakery are presented the movies "Estonian Rye" and "St. Mary´s Day". The school takes the responsibility in running the most naturally maintained manor estate which consists of 29 buildings and facilities. For additional information visit the website and


Estonian Rye Association

The Association is a non-profit organisation responsible for co-ordination of national activities in the frames of the Estonian Rye Route project. The goal is to merge activities in the fields of rye breeding, research, seed production, cultivation, genetic studies and preservation of plant genetic resources, agricultural consulting, milling and backing industry. The association facilitates information exchange, product development, presentation of healthy aspects of rye products. The Association nominates annually laureates of Corncrake Cultural Award. For additional information visit the website


 "The Kingdom of Rye"

The largest winter rye production area among Estonian agricultural farms has Simuna Ivax OÜ. In total 2950 hectares of agricultural land is used by the farm, out of which 800-850 hecatres is under rye. The average grain yield of rye  is 4-4,5 tons per hectare. High quality rye is marketed in Estonia and to some extent exported to other countries. The rye straw is used by farm for heating of industrial facilities. In 2007 the Estonian Rye Association awarded the general manager of the Simuna Ivax OÜ Hans Kruusamägi the honourable title of "The Estonian Rye King". The Rye Trail of the King will be introduced to the visitors of Estonian Rye Route. On the trail guests will get acquainted with different winter rye varieties. Among others there will be visited the field of an old Estonian winter rye variety `Sangaste`. An overview about rye cultivation and management aspects will be provided to visitors. Annually the Rye King will nominate the best Estonian winter rye growers. In recognition of their dedication to rye special trophies will be awarded to the laureates. Special event "Sheaf of Rye" will consist of rye hand-harvesting using sickles and binding of rye sheaves. On the Rye Bread Day a bread baking competition will be held in the stove. Rye drying, threshing, sifting, milling and bread baking will be conducted in the Rye Bread House.


Moe Fine Spirits Distillery

Moe Fine Spirits Distillery was established in 1886. The distillery is currently the only producer of certified organic spirits in Baltic countries. Because only rye of Estonian origin is being used for production of Moe 1886 and Moe Mahe 1886 the quality sign "Certified Estonian Taste" has been granted to both products. Variety `Sangaste` is used by distillery for spirits production. The Museum of the Alcohol Industry is housed in the 18th-century distillery building of the Moe factory. An overview of the five centuries-long history of spirits production in Estonia is provided by museum. For additional information visit the website