Winemaker profiles

Winery Profiles

BALLA GÉZA

Discover something very unusual here. With some grapes which grow on rocks, and a mineral ‘Stone Wine’ from Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon or indigenous Feteasca Neagra. Balla also makes a lovely indigenous Cadarca. On the foothills of Arad the former famous historical wine-growing region known as Minis, sank into oblivion in the XX. century’s whirl. The legendary red aszú, the spicy Cadarca, the velvety red wines and the mild Feteasca Regala-s were once known all across Europe. Now our Balla Geza strives for this wine-growing region since 1999 and winning back its fame.

GERE

Villany PDO is the home of Cabernet Franc. In Hungary it is known simply as ‘Franc’. The Kopar wine is one of the best examples of a successful Villany blend. The history of GERE winery started 7 generations ago. As you can imagine, the journey was long, challenging and arduous, but today whilst respecting traditions they embrace modern technology and methods of winemaking. The GERE brand is very well known in Hungary and beyond. Their Kopar wine is only made in exceptional years from specially selected grapes grown on the best slopes of Villány PDO (Kopár, Csillagvölgy, Konkoly, Ördögárok). The wine is a blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. Aged in barrique for 16-18 months. Nowadays the family estate comprises 70 hectares and the young generation takes a very active part in the everyday running of the winery: the older generation passing on old Hungarian traditions and the younger generation adapting these methods to maximise the potential of the wines they make.

BOCK

József Bock is a solidly built, jovial man who was one of the pioneers of the resurgence of Villányi wines. The Bock range of wines includes a number of authentic expressions of Hungarian varietals like Hárslevelű, Kadarka and Kekfrankos and a savoury single vineyard Syrah, but the real excitement comes at the top end of the range. Here are ultra premium wines made from the Bordeaux grapes Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon, both as varietals and blends. Bock places special emphasis on vineyard site. The top wines tend to be picked late, sometimes into early November, resulting in are powerful wines that sometimes have more in common with Amarone than the Medoc.

KOLONICS

Karoly Kolonics is a fourth-generation winemaker in the small Hungarian appellation of Somló (pronounced shomlo). Somló is a volcanic hill, the uneroded core of an ancient sea-bed volcano, standing proud on the Pannonian Plain north of Lake Balaton, with unique basalt soils. Most growers here are weekenders, making wine for themselves, but Kolonics is entirely professional and Karoly’s passion for this area and its native grapes is second to none. He grows furmint, hárslevelu, olaszrizling and juhfark (pronounced you-fark) sustainably and with great skill across his bijou estate on the south side of the hill. Yields are restricted to ensure good fruit and winemaking is traditional in its use of indigenous yeasts and fermentation and ageing in both oak and acacia barrels.

NIMROD KOVACS

The essence of fine wine is rooted in the unique terroir, where the grapes are grown. Kovacs Nimrod are fortunate enough to have three of the top terroirs in the Eger wine growing region. Since Eger is a cool climate region, similar to Burgundy or cooler climates of California, varieties are planted accordingly, so they are capable of producing world class wines. They farm these grapes using sustainable practices and every year hand harvest these healthy and happy grapes which are being gently guided into fine wines. Nimrod Kovács is, first and foremost a businessman. Following a successful career in the States, Nimrod returned to Hungary to follow his dream and create his own wine domaine. Inspired by his love of jazz, the stylish labels for the Monopole range (classic and superior) bear names such as Soul, Rhapsody and Blues and come in burgundy bottles.

ST ANDREA

Eger is becoming an exciting place for wine. Due to the efforts of a new generation of oenologists including Dr György Lőrincz, Hungary’s wine-maker of the year in 2009. His St Andrea winery, in the northern city of Eger PDO, is among the leaders in re-establishing important Hungarian varietals such as the white Furmint and Hárslevelü and the peppery, red Kadarka. He has won many awards in Hungary and in Bordeaux with his wines and became a wine icon in Hungary. St Andrea is inspired and motivated by life with the mission to create wines that are unique. A winery that strives to do good.

OSTOROS

Within a short distance from Eger, their best situated vineyards take advantage of the volcanic soils of the nearby stretching Bükk Mountains and unique climate as well as the ample sunshine cast on the territory due to the closeness of the Great Hungarian Plain. 170 ha land is estate owned and the viticultural activities of another 200 ha in the hands of small private holders are also integrated by the company. The estate grown and bought in yield of about 6-7 tons of wine grapes result 40-45 hl wine per year. 5 million bottles of sound quality wines are filled in their bottling plant each year. A considerable proportion of the wines cover indigenous Hungarian white varietals are grown.

BARTA WINERY

Supplier to many Michelin star restaurants in Budapest (Costes and Borkonyha) and famous international fine dining restaurants the Ledbury in London or Boulud Sud Restaruant in New York, this winery is a very important piece of the Tokaj terroir. Barta Tokaj's Chief Winemaker Vivien Újvári looks after the terroir, 80% of vineyards planted with Furmint producing 2 different dry Furmint varietals made every year as well as Hungary's renowned Tokaji Aszú. Barta's limited annual production is 1250 cases.

ZSIRAI WINERY

They started this winery in 2003. Nowadays, ran by the Zsirai sisters, they work on 15 hectares in the Tokaj region. Their center is in Mád, in the heart of Tokaj and Zsirai also has a a few hectares in Somló and Villany wine regions. They only produce wine from the grape they grow. They believe that the secret of good wine is excellent soil, proper selection of grapes varieties, and diligent care.

HEIMANN WINERY

``Characteristics of Szekszárd. Shown through our taste.`` A plantation of 21 hectare, focusing on local varieties, where the stroy reveils hard work, commitment to nature, wines made care minimal intervention in an organic way. Hungary's indegenious Kadarka and Kékfraknos shows elegance and lovely fruit in Szekszárd and Heimann does it well. Key varieties include: merlot, cabernet franc, kékfrankos, kadarka, syrah, viognier, pinot noir, sagrantino, tannat, portugieser. Annual production: 130.000 bottles.

TORNAI WINERY

Endre Tornai, founder of Tornai winery started viniculture and winemaking on a one-acre vineyard over sixty years ago, having been in to winemaking since 1946. Today their land measures 60 hectares, with the third generation engaged in the everyday tasks of the wine cellar. They are one of the biggest winery in Somló, their ars poetica besides respecting traditions, is the use of state-of-the-art winemaking and processing technologies.

SANZON TOKAJ

A small boutique winery in the heart of Tokaj. 3 hectares, organic cultivation, limited selection of wines. Get your hands on these wines if you would like to mesmerise your consumers something very special.