Tradition Meets Innovation: the Heimann Winery

Few wineries blend tradition with modern innovation like the Heimann family do. The family has been producing wine in Szekszárd for more than 250 years but they are only at the beginning of their journey.

In the 18th century, Swabian settlers like the Heimann family played a pivotal role in revitalizing the region’s wine culture. Despite the challenges of the Great Depression, two world wars and communist rule in the 20th century, the region’s winemaking is thriving again today.

The first modern chapter of the Heimann Winery began in 1989 when Ágnes and Zoltán decided to leave successful business careers to focus on the family legacy. Over the past three decades, their efforts have transformed the winery into one of Hungary’s leading wineries. They have become famous for their well-crafted red wines made from both local and international grape varieties.

Zoltán Jr. (‘Zoli’), the eldest son, has contributed to this success by gaining international winemaking experience, studying in Germany, Montpellier and Udine, before returning home with a fresh perspective and ambitious plans to modernize winemaking in the region.

He has recently launched his own range of wines, Heimann & Fiai (‘Heimann & Sons’), focusing on the local varieties Kékfrankos and Kadarka, and producing wines with minimal human intervention and natural techniques. From 2023, the winery’s wines will be certified organic.

As is always the case when a young generation tries something new, Zoli was criticized by some at the beginning of his project, as his lighter, more balanced and down-to-earth style is a departure from the dominant style of heavily extracted, oaked and higher alcohol reds that have defined the region for the past few decades. However, positive reviews and accolades from the world’s top wine journalists prove his vision right.

Today, the classic Heimann range focuses on layered, rich red blends such as the best-selling Birtokbor or Barbár, one of the region’s top reds, while the Heimann & Fiai range presents more restrained and mellow wines, fermented with full-bunch pressing and almost no human intervention, highlighting the region’s nuanced spicy aromas. It’s been an exciting journey so far and it looks like there is plenty more to come.

Facts & Figures
Szekszárd wine region: 2600 hectares
Heimann winery area: 21 hectares
Main grape varieties: Kékfrankos, Kadarka, Merlot, Cabernet franc, Sagrantino, Tannat

Located in the south of Hungary along the Danube, the Szekszárd wine region features a mix of clay, sand, sandstone, and Pannonian loess-loam soil, creating an ideal environment for vine cultivation. The warm Mediterranean climate provides optimal conditions for the production of vibrant red wines with good acidity and rich flavors.