The family coat of arms
All the old cities with rich history have families that live, age and renew together with the place, Vesztergombi is a family like this. The family coat of arms used on their labels, comes from the early 1700s. This serves as evidence that the family has been cultivating grapes and making wine out of them for a long time.
Szekszárd’s first vineyard judge was called György Vesztergombi. His title meant both high professional and social recognition at the time. The Vesztergombi family owned a classically large farmland. It dealt with almost every branch of the production chain, from cereal production to sawmill and vineyard cultivation. The latter has always played an important role as the peak of the activities and provided a framework to it all.
Life after the World War II
The previous regime did not support family farming and quality centric thinking. It did not make the family’s life easier that Ferenc Vesztergombi Senior had served as crown officer in the Second World War and as such he was outcast and alienated in the system, being deprived of everything he had, which was forcedly given to the collective farm. The allowed and remaining vineyards of 800 fathoms per person were not only for personal consumption but had an important role in maintaining family traditions. Every autumn, harvest was perhaps the most important family event, where everyone expressed their gratefulness for the harvest in a good mood. During these harvests the younger generation had unknowingly become an expert and a fan of the Szekszárd vineyard. This is also how Ferenc Vesztergombi, present owner turned to the winemaking profession. After graduating from college in Kecskemét as a winemaker, he cultivated his knowledge in other wine regions for a few years, then returned home and began winemaking at the only option that was available at the time – the State Farm.
Winemaker of the Year
By the time the change of the regime took place, a range of opportunities had opened up. With the help of the privatisation the Vesztergombis got back 10 hectares of vineyard along with a wine cellar on Kadarka Street. Based on these Ferenc Vesztergombi founded the family business in 1991. 1993 was an important year, since Ferenc Vesztergombi was selected as the “Winemaker of the Year”. The city of Szekszárd also thought that his achievements should be appreciated. Ferenc Vesztergombi had received the “Közjóért” (For The Common Good) award and soon afterwards the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Szekszárd.
Over the years, the vineyard has grown, just as Csaba Vesztergombi, the son of Ferenc did. „I naturally fit into the day-to-day operation as I graduated from my first college, which gave me a marketing degree in agricultural engineering. My first degree was followed by a professionally more important one. I became a student of Vineyards and Winemaking at the University of Horticulture (back then named: St. Stephen’s University). In the meantime, I spent a harvesting season in Australia, which gave me an important experience and knowledge. Whenever I have the opportunity, I continue to be open in gaining international professional experience”– says Csaba Vesztergombi.
Today, together with his father and his mother Piroska, Csaba Vesztergombi is trying to carry out the tasks of managing the winery. The new generation is also trying and getting familiar with the ambience of the cellar and vineyards.
Vesztergombi Cellar has a 27-hectare vineyard, most of this is re-planted, relatively young vines, but even these grapevines are reaching maturity one after the other. It was an important and necessary step to replace the old large plantations with modern, new plantings.
There was a significant increase in the vine per hectare, as in the old plantations there used be around 2-2500 vines trying to produce the quality that we like, whereas, depending on the location of the new plantations we can count 4-5000 vines per hectare. However, it should also be noted that in the case of new plantations the owners are certain about what kind of grape is growing. This was not so clear on the old collective farm vineyard.
It is also important that in addition to the increased vine they are also able to decide on the limitations of the harvest. „We believe that our vineyards are in the best slopes of Szekszárd’s wine region.”
The Vesztergombi’s own plantations in the following vineyards: Kerékhegy, Hidaspetre, Bodzás, Porkolábvölgy, Szarvastető, Leányvár.
Királylány (‘PRINCESS’) 2018
Featherlight, naughty and mysterious. We woke up our “little princess” in 2 hectares in our Leányvár (Girls’ Castle) vineyard. The backbone of the wine is given by Királyleányka variety, to which 16% Cserszegi Fűszeres adds the subtle, “lace-like veil” of the princess. Lovely, light, floral and fruity notes on the nose and the palate with crispy acidity. Usually not much of it is left in the glass…
Kadarka has a characteristic, lighter colour and the palate also feels lighter than that of other red wines, but you must not be deluded. This variety has a serious structure, probably the most serious of Hungary’s red varieties even though this feature is well hidden, however if you lay it down for years, you will discover the exceptional ageing potential of Kadarka. When we blend it with other varieties, we always keep the dominant characteristics of Kadarka in mind. We believe that good Kadarka wines need about 10% botrytised berries to achieve the unmistakable aromas of Szekszárd Kadarka.
It has distinct fragrance and flavour ranges that are almost unique among red wines. Tropical and citrus fruits – grapefruit, blood orange, mango, papaya – sprinkled with a hint of black pepper.
Kékfrankos gives the body and backbone of the wine, Cabernet Sauvignon adds spiciness and depth, Merlot is responsible for the soft and gentle character while Kadarka provides its soul.
Cabernet Sauvignon 2016
Complex nose and palate enhanced with notes resulting from oak ageing. Due to its structure it is also possible to keep in bottle for a prolonged period of time.
This blend has been made of Cabernet Franc and Merlot since the first vintage, though at the beginning the proportion was inverse. We decided to change the ratio of the varieties in 1997, and it was the year when we named the blend Turul. The heavier, sometimes harsh style of Cabernet Franc is perfectly balanced by the softness and gentleness of Merlot.
The flagship wine of our cellar, a typical Bordeaux blend with more or less equal proportion of Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Merlot. It is made only in exceptional vintages, and we insist on this principle of ours even if painfully long years pass without having the chance to create the wine. We are keen on constant high quality.