The Etyeki Kúria Winery was established in 1996 with a grape growing area of 2 hectares at Etyek Old-Hill. Soon it became the leading winery of its wine region. In year 2000 significant developments were started: a modern processing and a wine tasting room of pleasant atmosphere was built, and in Alcsútdoboz due to the planting of grapes in several steps, the growing area is already 27 hectares today. The winery was the first one to plant Pinot Noir grape in the wine region of Etyek–Buda, and the wine prepared from this grape won many world class awards for the winery.
In 2009, a partnership was established with the Esterházy Winery of Trausdorf, located near the Hungarian-Austrian border. Within the framework of this cooperation, not only is there a viticultural and vinicultural exchange of ideas, but also the marketing expertise to bring Etyeki Kúria onto the world stage.
Sándor Mérész has been serving as chief winemaker at Etyeki Kúria since May 2009. Having overseen the modernization of the winery together with Sára Matolcsy and László Babarczi, he is a man of few words but great actions. His first task was to review the winery’s product range, followed by the assessment and optimization of the company’s design.
In the autumn of 2011, comprehensive modernization and expansion works were started, aiming to catch up with the international forefront and to reach an economical farm size. The Bord Architectural Studio were commissioned to design the buildings. The cooperation between the architect and the winemaker was an example of real teamwork. The grape processing center were completely renovated, an attractive and inviting reception hall for wine tastings and other events were built as well as a stylish garden were planted. As a result of the investment, the floor space of the building increased from 220 m2 to 1100 m2 and the winery is suitable to accommodate 2,500 hectoliters of tanks and barrels. Thanks to the building’s design, gravity grape processing technology can be realized.
Thanks to the glass surfaces, visitors can view virtually all the steps of the process without entering the production facilities themselves. The wing located opposite the wine store and bar overlooks the container area, the bottling area, as well as the wooden barrel fermentation room. This solution is significant and innovative both in terms of food safety and from an operational perspective.
In addition to the expansion project, Etyeki Kúria was expanded about 11 hectares of additional vineyards in the premium regions of Kis-Látó-hegy in Alcsútdoboz, bringing the producing area to a total of over 27 hectares. The new areas were planted in the spring of 2015 with Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir – three of the top varieties grown by the winery.
Etyek-buda wine region
History of the wine region
The Etyek-buda wine region is on the border of Budapest and extends on circa 5632 hectares. Etyek is situated 30 kilometers from the capital in the Etyek Hills on the northeastern border of Fejér County. The hills are windy but the plateaus obtain excessive sunshine, have unique ecological conditions, and their limestone-rich, deep-layered brown forest soil provides good acid-structured base for wines.
“Etyek is the vineyard of Budapest” – already in the Roman period wine-growing was widespread in the area. 13th century entries mention the wine-production of the Buda Hills; flourishing grape cultivation became the main source of income for local people.
According to the chronicler of Ladislavus IV, a knight named Aynard arrived to Hungary together with Margaret – second wife of Béla III – in 1186, whose family came from Champagne and who later became landlord of Zsámbék. The king welcomed the company of his wife and he expressed his hospitality by granting rich estates.
Traditions of grape cultivation that are used today can be traced back to the beginning of the 1700s when German vine-growers were settled in the village after the chasing out of the Turks from Hungary. The Hungarian Royal Chamber and the ecclesiastic and secular landlords were the leaders of settling German people. In Fejér county it was the members of the Esterházy family and the Jesuits who settled German Catholics to their lands.
The conditions of the wine-district resembles to Champagne which was noticed by József Törley as well, who used the grapes of the area and made his champagne factory world-famous.
Peasants of Etyek worked on the neighboring lands of Archduke József in Alcsútdoboz, in the area of Göbölpuszta and its wine cellars, today property of the Etyeki Kúria.
Today only 120 wine cellars operate out of the 1000; two rows of them are protected.
Sopron wine region
We already have 22 hectares of winegrapes in this wine-growing area, of which 9 hectares are growing for the time being, but from year to year our wines from Sopron are increasingly emphasized.
Sopron is a historical wine district of Hungary. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, on the southern shore of Lake Fertõ, and on the downs of the Sopron Hills.
The region is approximately 4300 hectares, out of which 1800 hectares are vineyards.
The tradition of grape cultivation dates back to the Roman period.
Mostly red wine is produced in Sopron, using Blaufränkisch grapes but several international varieties are domesticated in the area, as well. The wine produced here is characteristically medium bodied and has medium alcohol strength, fresh, with good acidity.
Soil and climate
The Sopron wine district is on the northern edge of the grape cultivation territory. Summers are relatively cold, and winters are mild because of Lake Fertõ’s balancing effect. The effect of the height of the nearby Alps can be sensed as it calms the cold air currents. Regarding its relief the region is open towards the North-West which causes frequent windy weather.
Soil of the Sopron Hills is composed of crystallized gneiss and mica slate formed in the Palaeozoic era, which is covered by Miocene pebbles, clay, flaked limestone and sandstone. In later eras these layers were deposited by loess-loamy soil and brown forest soil rich in humus.
Legend of the Blaufränkisch
Napoleon’s army occupied the city of Sopron in May 1809. Local people were obliged to house the soldiers, provide them food and wine three times a day. Naturally, for the French the ordained daily circa 1 liter wine was not enough, so they tried to satisfy their thirst at Buschenschanks (taverns). Rowdiness of the drunken soldiers gave both the citizens of Sopron and the French military officers a lot of trouble so they prohibited wine retail after 9 p.m. However, despite their efforts brawls kept happening. During the occupation more than 100 000 liters of wine had to be handed over to the French, and they took even more as reparations themselves. This amount could only be guaranteed by ordaining delivery obligations onto the local farmers.
Origin of the Blaufränkisch’s name can be explained by a contemporary local story. When the French bought wine from the farmers they paid with Frank. There were two kinds of Frank in circulation but the farmers only accepted the blue ones. This is only a legend since during that time white wine was still the dominant production of the region. They knew about Blaufränkisch but the grape was planted in large numbers only after the phylloxera plague.
French troops left Sopron in November 1809 and luckily the local farmers needed only a few years to overcome the damages of the occupation.