Hungarian finalist in Wine Spectator video contest
First of all let us excuse ourselves at hungarianwines.eu because of the sometimes confused use of ’hill’ or ’mountain’. Now we are talking about Somló, a volcanic witness mountain, a remarkable object standing out of its surroundings, thus we prefer calling it a mountain. However the title is reference to the title of a video, in which the the term ’hill’ is used, so now we are using it as well.
Vote till Sunday!
Yesterday Wine Spectator US wine magazine announced the video contest finalists. The 10 videos selected by the editors are all well made and interesting, but of course the one about Somló, the smallest wine region of our small country is the closest to our heart. Thus we ask you to open your mind, watch the video, and if you like it, why not pushing that button?
Look for the picture of Somló hill and the title is: Sometimes you fall in love – with a hill. The video is made by FurmintUSA, the Hungarian Furmint promotional project in the USA.
Others, who also fell in love with Somló
That mountain must have a magical power. Jósef Kreinbacher, a succesful entrepreneur who made his fortune of his construction company, fell in love with Somló so much, that he created the first méthod traditionelle sparkling wine of the wine region – what’s more, of superb quality. László Bóni from Serbia has a wide portfolio south of the Hungarian border, but when once he visited Somló, he could not resist. Péter Csizmadia-Honigh lives in the United Kingdom with his husband, Omar, but they saw the potential in the tiny land belonging to Péter’s family, and started Royal Somló winery with some international succes of their Juhfark called J soon after launch! Zsirai Winery has its central estate in Tokaj, Mád, but they cherish their Somló vineyard with great passion.
The monks used to drink the best only
Csaba Zsirai, founder of Zsirai Winery came from „outside”, his forefather did not have any vineyards. He dealt with cabel television systems and he worked as editor in chief of local television channel in Nagyatád. He regularly bought wine from Villány, but when his usual dealer died, he looked for a cellar with wine, found one, bought one, and it turned out that a vineyard also belonged to the cellar. That was the beginning. The estate grew, the quality improved, Mád was chosen as the estate centre, and besides Villány and Mád, Csaba Zsirai decided to buy some vineyard in Somló as well. The mountain has a lot of micro vineyards, impossible to cultivate for a larger company, but the Zsirais were lucky: they found a reasonable size vineyard with a spectacular cellar, which belonged to the Abbey of Zirc. Now Zsirai Winery has two vineyards made of smaller plots. They had planned to preserve the traditional goblet training system in their larger plot, but they had to give up due to lack of vineyard workers who could have properly cultivate. However in their smaller plot they work with the local heritage, even replanting the missing vines with almost extinct varieties, like ’Lisztes’ and ’Sárfehér’. The founder, Csaba Zsirai unfortunately died suddenly in 2011, now his two daugthers follow his traits with probably even more passion and love.
Some of Zsirai wines are available in the UK from Witness Mountains.
Can you speak ’Somló’?
If you have read through this article, you might solve our quick quiz on Somló.