5Haz Estate’s ( formerly known as Balint Cellar ) huge building project was opened up to the public in 2015. It is judged the most environmentally- and location-conscious investment of Somlo so far. Their enormous, cca 60 m diameter concrete dome – a unique engineering triumph in itself – has been completely hidden inside the hill and now this main building, able to receive 150 guests is completely invisible. What IS visible though are the 5 beautiful, traditional Hungarian country-style small houses, smoothly melting into their surroundings. (5 haz means 5 houses in English). These will function as home to 7 apartments, altogether able to receive 26 people at once. Although this investment is one of the most substantial of recent years on Somlo, nothing shows more its owner’s humility and respect for local values more, but the fact that he himself choose to train as a winemaker, and is now making his elegant, clear and typically North-Somlo style “hard mineral” wines himself.
A long-awaited and much-needed addition to both new style, high-quality wines and local tourist developments on Somlo.
Balint Barcza comes from families with hundreds of years of winemaking traditions on both sides. Besides his vineyards nr. lake Balaton, he tends to one of the greatest ( and most difficult) vineyards of Somlo on the hill’s Southern side. Balint is a learned winemaker, still he creates with humility and respect, showing only those wines to the public that he judges good enough. His Juhfark of 2011 were sold first time in our shop this year. Besides Vandor cellar, Balint is typically one of those young winemakers, who are considered both by locals and by wine lovers as founding members of future Somlo’s winemaking generation.
Very few bottled wines were more anxiously anticipated than Barnaby cellar’s Furmint and Harslevelű. Mr. Toth Barnabas – or Barnaby in English – has gone through a lot since that first “love at first sight” moment from amateur wine-tourist coming to Somlo to a professional Somlo vintner. He is one of those few lucky people who could develop his knowledge without any outside pressure: he has neither financial nor quantitative expectations from his lovingly tended vines, which incidentally grow in the heart of the best part of Somlo. During the last ten years, many wines were born in his cellar from this “marriage of love”. We think all of them were excellent, a wine merchant often thought of begging on his knees to be able to bring them to the market. Barna, however, is only satisfied with perfection, if at all. The Furmint and Hárslevelű which is finally having their débuts now are in just that category.
An absolute winner from 2013 débutante cellars – Hárslevelű 2011 voted 5th best Hungarian dry white on one of Hungary’s leading daily newspaper top 100 wine-list, the best result for Somló this year in this competition.
A real Family Estate, where the different values of the different generations comprise a harmonic whole. This harmony reflects in their fresh, young wines and makes their older, more serious items widely accepted. The winery supplies for all ages and gender: from mature old men to young ladies.
One of the ladies’ favourite winery.
Krisztina CSETVEI, our so far only lady – winemaker first “burst” into the Hungarian Wine-scene in 2011, mostly with her wines from Mor – region, North of Somlo. Not many know that she also owns a small vineyard on Somlo, right next to our newly renovated Western Chapel, St Ilona. Welschriesling produced here is part of her highly popular “Rock-Scissors-Paper” series. A lovely young and fresh wine, a welcome addition to the “new generation’s take” on ancient Somlo.
The well-known winery has its own shop, with regular opening times, at the “gate” of the Hill. To receive a selection from them for our shop from day one was, therefore, a real compliment: the owners found it important to support our idea of bringing all wineries together, for which we are really grateful. Csordás olaszrizling, which comes from one of Somló’s best growing areas has been setting trends for many years now.
Tourists’ favourites, with easily understandable-, and drinkable wines next to more sophisticated titles from their “Selection” range.
Our first winery from Sag-Hill, the neighbouring small “brother” of Somlo. This family cellar produces wine with a fascinating professionalism considering their size and location. Since their entry into the wine market in 2005, they became a household name from a region probably least known in Hungary. An amazing display of both terroir and viticulture, and not least from a little, amazing volcano, Ság, which is one of Hungary’s best kept secret places.
Favourite of exclusivity-seekers, with completely uniquely tasting wines.
The name Fekete has now become one with the “Hill” – at the age of 92, he is well deservedly called the Grand Old Man of Somlo. His classic, extremely high quality and consistent wines convert newer and newer followers each year – for “uncle Bela” himself, but also for the appellation itself. His land was purchased in 2014 by 3 new investors, but he is still actively taking part in the winemaking, ensuring continuity of his legendary vintages.
We don’t actually sell Fekete wines: we merely try to fairly share them amongst our customers..
Nobody 15 years ago would have thought that a wine-merchant from Tokaj would be a permanent resident on Somlo, and become one of the top winemakers here. Hollovar wines are extremely high quality, refined “pieces” ( ..of art?), several famous Hungarian restaurant carries them for their extreme longevity and high adaptivity to many types of food. The cellar and the vineyards lie below the famous Southern Basalt-Organs, where Ravens nest. Hence the name: Hollo Var – Raven’s Castle. In 2014 the owner, Lajos TAKACS decided to move back to Tokaj, his hometown and continue his work there. 2013 is his swan-song: Hollóvár Brand is finishing with this vintage, now available in our webshop. Somlói Vándor Cellar has taken over part of his legacy – best hands to put 15 years of work and vines in our opinion.
One of wine expert’s favourite cellar.
Küldetés: Somló on high level
Imre Györgykovács is impossible to introduce, needs not be introduced, and we can hardly do him justice trying to do so. He is as legendary in the life of Somlo as “Uncle Béla”, Bela Fekete, building up one of the handful small wineries that made our Hill what it is today. Mr. Imre Györgykovács has been awarded one of the highest merits of the Hungarian Republic, and has been voted “winemaker of winemakers” of Hungary in 2012, the highest appreciation one can get from this profession as it is given be other winemakers.
One of the most sought after winery in the shop.
Youngest winery of Somlo, founded in the spring of 2014, when they took over the former Oszvald – Estate and started work on the first 11 hectares. Most of their vineyards are located higher up on Somlo-hill, hard to work, but ideal plots for Somlo wines.
Grape varietals: juhfark, furmint, harslevelu and olaszrizling. From 2015 the estate controls a total of 16 hectares, where the new owners set out to plant new varieties, too.
Küldetés: Loyalty and traditions.
Karoly KOLONICS from this 4-generations-old family cellar is best known for his knowledge and loyalty to historical Somlo traditions. His wines are matured in wooden barrels, come from yield-controlled vines and all have that distinct “Somló” taste that sets our wines apart from any other in the world. Already a well-known brand nationally, Kolonics wines are nowadays conquering outside of our borders too: they are exported to Poland, Transylvania and to the Far-East. Their guesthouse is one of the most popular accommodations on Somlo, while Karoly, the owner slowly goes down in History as the “olaszrizling king” of the hill.
Somlo fans’ favourite winery with huge amounts of regular, returning guests.
Küldetés: “To show Somlo’s outstanding abilities, through the highest quality wines possible.” (Jozsef KREINBACHER, founder)
The owner of the last decade’s largest local developments hardly needs introducing to those familiar with Somlo’s last 10 year: today’s infrastructure on the hill has mostly been formed by the presence of Kreinbacher Estate. Their production is supported with excellent HR background, their wines are of excellent quality, made with the most contemporary equipment and technology, they have collected countless national and international awards. Kreinbacher Estate’s newly finished modern sparkling – wine factory and state-of-art winery at the South-bottom of Somló definitely changed the face of the hill forever. Their much awaited hotel and restaurant has opened in 2015, offering quality accommodation and food all year around.
Kreinbacher’s selection is on almost every wine tourist’s checklist who visit our shop.
Küldetés: “…we’d like to make wines that can not be mistaken for another region’s wine. Wines, that tell you where they come from – without having to question them”
The name ‘Laposa’ is mostly familiar to those wine-lovers who like Balaton-region wines. Less known fact about the family estate, that they also have vineyards on Somló – although it only seems obvious for the visionaries of the concept ‘basalth-wine’. Laposa family estate bottles a single vineyard Juhfark from their Somlo plots. Olaszrizling is also used from here in their renowned “4Hegy” ( = 4Hills) cuvée, blending wines from 3 different volcanic hills of the North-Balaton plus Somlo.
Küldetés: With a full-hearted commitment from pruning to bottling
As the fourth generation, Gabor Mundi has taken over the Marton family’s winegrowing traditions in 2012. Gabor has a degree in viticulture and wine-judging, and successfully reunited the old vineyards previously used by different family members. He is working on the Southern slopes of Somlo with great respect and love towards the hill, creating high-quality wines according to modern tastes. He feels it is also his vocation to make Somlo Wine widely known in the world. Gábor is also an active member of our volunteer-group regularly organising projects to save Somlo Hill’s natural and cultural heritage.
Authentic small cellar for curiosity – seekers.
Papa Family Cellar
Küldetés: “Built on our South-Eastern Hungarian background, we would like to produce top quality wines in one of Hungary’s most famous wine-regions to please our family, friends and our customers ”
Papa Family bought their first vineyard on Somlo Hill in 2001. They are originally from S-East Hungary, from where they bring their 20 years of winemaking background. Somlo has captivated their imagination so much, that by now they have re-cultivated 80% of their land and spend most of their time here. They use a mixture of traditional and reductive technology, and their single-variety wines are achieving high results on wine competitions year on year. Their late-harvest Juhfark is a real gem, it wins of just about every competition it enters.
Small-cellar hunters and late-harvest fan’s favourite cellar
Peter’s first juhfark wine appeared on Somlo’s sky as a bright comet in 2015 and it has been converting new faithfuls ever since to Somlo, Juhfark and the cellar itself. It has been a roaring success both on professional tastings and amongst our guests, in our shop – yet another hidden small-cellar treasure we had the privilege to market first. We are very excited to find out about the next vintages!
Polgar – Matyasfalvi Winery
Küldetés: Precision, high quality, award-winning wines
Those of you looking for tiny vineyards on Somló where you can be baffled by the hidden treasures – look no further. Polgar-Matyasfalvi Cellar, owned by a mathematician and a physicist is just such a gem. Their Cuvée is an extraordinarily odd mix of Welsh-riesling and Hárslevelu, and their Welshriesling is just pure amazing. It is only pure luck, that the cellar is not holding back the younger vintages for maturing, thus giving us a chance to compare different years of the same rieslings. Whilst they show a different face each year, their excellent growing soil and constant high quality is present equally in every one of them.
Küldetés: ”Royal Somlo believes in the importance of low intervention farming and winemaking”
“Royal Somlo ‘J’ has been handcrafted for your enjoyment. The low intervention allows the wine to display its true, unmistakably Somló character: minerality, saltiness and white fruits with refreshing acidity and medium-high alcohol.” ( source: Royal Somlo website)
Somlo Kincse Boutique Winery
Küldetés: “Make honest, clean and natural Somlo wines”
Choosing his land consciously, but also having some family ties to Somlo, Laszlo ANDRASI has purchased his first vineyard 10 years ago, on the Eastern side of the Hill. Now his vineyards lie on 1,3 hectares, where Laszlo is making wine not only from the usual Somlo varieties, but he is also bringing back some old, indigenous varieties. We will soon be able to taste long forgotten wines made from ancient grapes.
A perfect fit in the row of fantastic, new small cellars opening for the public first in 2013. The name means “Somlo’s treasure”.
Somloi Apatsagi Pinceszet
Küldetés: Purity and simplicity – without compromise
This new-generation winery is a heart-warming assurance, that the centuries – old fame of Somlo Wines lives on. With their amazing handcrafted wines, Somloi Apatsagi Pinceszet ( = Somlo Abbey Winery ) is deservedly one of the “Cult” cellars of Hungary. Since each year they sell out completely, there is always an eager few months at the beginning of each season, when people queue up for the new vintages, thus self-generating an “event” worthy of the late marketing-event genius Steve Jobs. The name comes from their land and beautiful old cellar having once belonged to an Abbey.
Distribution of SAP wines in the mere mortal world of wine traders is based on merit only. A number of slain dragons, rescued princesses and eternally annihilated evil spirits all count, but only if amply documented and proven. We are doing quite well on the dragon-count, however, 2016 will be a very difficult year: almost no grapes survived the rains in 2014, so we are most likely to ‘jump’ a vintage this year.
Somloi Vandor Cellar
Tamas KIS from Somloi Vandor Cellar came to Somlo following his heart – and our hopes were answered in 2014 when it became public that he will stay on Somló for good.Tamas is one of the youngest winegrowers on the Hill. Having great success for two years with his single cuvée wines, in 2013 he expanded his Northern winery and in this vintage bottled some single variety wines, too. Still, for the biggest news, we had to wait till 2014 spring when we learned that Tamas will take over management some of the vineyards of Hollóvár winery. Three years ago we wrote this about him: “We are yet to see many of these superb wines being brought to life by Tamas’s hand – our hill gained a true and natural talent with him.” We were proven right. Lajos Takacs’ Somlo heritage could not have been given to more able hands.
One of the most successful Somló newcomer from Hungary’s 2012 wine-year. In 2015, Tamas was elected to be the next member of Hungary’s “Junibor” movement, an association bringing together the country’s young winemaking talents. He is the first one to be chosen from Somlo appellation, and – so far- the only one.
Küldetés: Grow to become a more serious winery from a small family cellar whilst reserving all the values of that small cellar
Szabo winery is mostly well known locally – they sell almost all their wines in bulk every year without fail, due to their consistently high quality. Only their best single variety Juhfark makes it to the bottle, captivating newer fans year on year to this relatively still lesser known cellar. Gyula SZABO and his son ( also called Gyula ) works in an over 500-year-old cellar, with entirely traditional methods. Their land includes one of the roughest parts of the Western side of Somlo, where the vines grow on a slope that is tilting over 45 degrees, accessible only on foot.
Küldetés: "The ars – poetica of Tornai Winery is to use the latest farming- and winemaking technologies whilst respecting old traditions” (source: Tornai Winery)
There is hardly a family in the villages around Somló a member of whose did not know Mr. Endre Tornai – Uncle Bandi – founder of Tornai Winery, and on whose life he did not have some sort of an effect – including the writer of these lines. The charismatic founder has left us recently but as a fitting prize for his lifetime achievement had still a chance to see his vision fulfilling: Tornai Winery, run now by the third generation, is now an essential part of Somlo, the Hill would be unimaginable without them. Finding Tornai wines in our shop makes those guests really happy, who have no time or strength to go over to the other side of the hill to the Winery’s own shop.
Peter Toth was born in the Somlo area, he re-cultivated his family vineyard during his horticultural university years from his own student – grants. His thesis for his diploma work was about late harvest and terroir-selection, his advisor was the chief winemaker of Tornai Winery. Peter was really lucky with his placement, as a graduate, he could take part in the birth of Tornai’s Top Selection Brand and wines. Having had his several years of experience both at home and abroad, Peter has created his first Kofejto ( = Quarryman, as his vineyard is close to an old quarry) Cuvée in 2010 – all of which has been sold from the cellar. The wine is a blend of wines made from separately harvested grape-varieties and goes into bottles having been matured in barrels for a year. From his public début 2012 vintage all together 1800 bottles saw the light of day, and was instantly chosen to be ”Official wine of Budapest”. Peter is a new colour to Somlo’s young and talented winemaker-generation palette, plus he is reassuringly a total local-patriot, so his person adds yet another assurance to the future of our wine-region.
Another WOW factor on our tasting-list – a sure favourite for novelty and curiosity – seekers.
The cellar was founded for all the good reasons. Besides their estates in Tokaj and Villány, the Zsirai family found home for their dreams on Somlo-hill’s Southern slopes. They purchased one of the best-located vineyards. Their first Somlo wines had their début in our shop. The “Somlai” series consists of highly promising, clear and light wines, whilst carrying in their every drop the hill itself. We also sell their Tokaj wines in our webshop.
One of our most popular wineries, with a young, fresh and creative marketing background.