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Chardonnay or Cabernet are international varieties, everybody knows them. Life is much more difficult with varietals known by a country only or by an smaller region. Who heard about Nero grape? Not many, though a Hungarian estate, Koch Winery in Hajós–Baja wine region makes a superb rosé of this grape. Rosé is a great tool to achieve wider publicity. In this category we expect writings about less known varieties and the authors should explain the solution as well. How the variety has become more widely known or if it has not happened yet, what will lead to success.

Stephen Quinn

Stephen Quinn reports on an autochthonous variety pulled out by Napoleon’s troops, which has refused to retreat. Wars have had a profound impact on the Asolo wine region north-west of Venice. Between 1792 and 1802 Napoleon’s French revolutionary army fought a coalition of Austrian, Russian and Italian troops in northern Italy.

Yolanda Ortiz de Arri

Salvador “Salva” Batlle carries the countryside and nature in his veins. By the time he was nine years old he already knew how to drive a tractor and at just 16 he made his first wine with grapes from the 22 hectares of vineyards that his family, grape growers in Rondonyà (Tarragona), works in the Baix Penedès and sells to the large wineries in the area.

Nicoletta Dicova

There are places on Earth particularly gifted and suitable for viticulture, where everything seems to happen with a certain spontaneity (I wouldn’t say easiness )with that kind of nonchalance as the French would say which distinguishes the very good from the excellent.


The Sponsor Of The Category

Koch Winery – the home of the happiest grapes

Koch Winery has been dealing with viticulture and wine production for generations. It is located in Hajós–Baja region in a village called Borota. The modern winery cultivates 140 hectares, it produces 27 types of wine and sells 800.000 bottle per year. In 2014 Koch Winery won the Winery of the Year award. It has a wide range of outstanding wines including Cserszegi Fűszeres, rosé wines of different varieties, Cabernet Sauvignon and Kadarka. Vin Art Winery also belongs to Koch Winery, another cellar in Nagyharsány (Villány wine region) to process its grapes suitable in Villány.

The ’happy grape’

Koch Winery has implemented his own vineyard techniques regarding canopy management in Hajós–Baja wine region. The owner and winemaker, Csaba Koch studied biology, he is an oneologist and agricultural engineer, and his main concern is the vine and its wellbeing. The main point of the special grape growing method is that after a srtict pruning and canes tying (sylvoz training system), buds are not hid, the free growing of the vine is not obstacled in any way. The result is a relatively big, airy canopy that grows according to the needs of the plant around the wires. The plant grows as much canopy as it needs for the optimal photosynthesis. A small proportion of the leaves is cut at the end of the summer. The result is high quality and low costs, since the vineyards save a lot of manual work. The vine plant is happy, because it can absorb and use as much sunshine as possible.

The Prizes
  • The absolute winner of all the three categories will receive an all inclusive trip to Hungary on 14–17 August 2019 as described on the main page.
  • The winning article of the category will be published on
  • The winner of the category will receive an electronic badge that he or she can place on the website.
  • The winner of the category will receive a voucher which entitles him or her for a 2 night stay for 2 persons at Koch Guest House including a wine tasting.
  • The winner of the category can participate in the study tour organized on 14–17 August 2018. The trip includes transfers between the venues, accommodation, meals, tastings. A special feature of the study tour is a visit to Koch Winery in Hajós–Baja wine region.
  • All the three finalists (including the winner) of the category will receive a Koch wine selection.
  • All the three finalists of the category will receive an invitation to the award ceremony event on 16 August.
The Members of Jury
Dr James Flewellen

Dr James Flewellen (DipWSET) is a biophysicist, award-winning wine writer (2015 Gourmand Award for The Concise Guide to Wine and Blind Tasting; 2019 Millésima Blog Awards, Wine Travel Award) and educator based in London, UK. He runs wine education events in the UK and France, bringing his scientific expertise to matters of taste in an approachable, entertaining manner.

Dr Matthew Horkey

Wine writer from USA, who has authored four books and his wine writing has appeared on and Wine Folly. With Charine Tan they own Exotic Wine Travel online publication and YouTube channel. Since 2015 Matthew and Charine have beenconstantly on the road and sample 5000 wines annually. Out of the thousands of wine grape varieties in the world, they have tried over 300 of them. Matthew won the Red Wine category of the 1st Hungarian WebWineWriting contest in 2018.


Paul Demeulenaere

The French Paul Demeulenaere has an engineer’s degree and a Master of Science in Wine Business. He is an international wine judge and manages the activities of Wine Mosaic, a non-profit organisation promoting the use of local grape varieties. During the past years he managed several wine exhibition participations and other projects of Wine Mosaic and came accross the world’s least known grape varieties.