Among all of the incredible winemakers we know and love, a few stand out from the rest. These are the defining figures of Hungarian winemaking: the people who often single-handedly built their wineries, and with it, rebuilt traditions and long-forgotten wine culture. Imre Györgykovács, Somló’s legendary winemaker, is one of these figures.
Everything about Somló feels like a fairytale: the jagged black mountain jumps out of the scenery, like someone put it there, standing alone on an otherwise empty plain. The roads curve unrealistically up to the mountain crest, while cottages from another era line the way. And in the middle of this fairytale is Imre Györgykovács and his wife, Gyöngyi. Together, they cultivate grapes in a tiny vineyard of only 1,5 hectares, which has been just big enough for them to handle themselves. They never wanted to expand, because they felt they could only focus on a vineyard this size.
Györgykovács is a lively and incredibly friendly man, who speaks his mind and loves to share his passion for his wines. In the vineyard, he is meticulous, attending each and every grape, and knows no nonsense when it comes to clean and careful winemaking. But when it comes to talking about his wines, his eyes light up, and he shares every thought and every detail that go into the making of his wines. (If you ever attend a tasting with him, cancel all your plans for the rest of the day.)
His winemaking philosophy is simple: he treats the grapes as well as possible and does everything he can to ensure that they make the best wines possible. He literally knows each and every vinestock, and there is an incredible sense of harmony and calm around him as he tends to his vineyard. The winery is meticulously clean, and the wines are fermented and aged with the least amount of intervention possible. He doesn’t rush anything, and this sense of calm and harmony transfers into his wines as well. Györgykovács is one of the few winemakers who even resists tasting from his barrels while his wines are aging, all to sure that they are kept undisturbed during the whole process.
The white wines of Somló are famous for their volcanic minerality and long aging potential. Györgykovács wines are the epitome of real Somló wines in this sense. They come into their element only several years after they are harvested, and even then, they take hours, or even days, to open up and reveal their full flavor. Their longevity is almost mythical – we’ve tried to see how long a bottle can last after opening without losing flavor but we’ve always failed. A delicious open bottle of Györgykovács wine never stands around long in our fridges, but even after two weeks, which is the longest we ever waited, the wines were still in full form and showed no signs of losing their flavor. On the contrary, they were still revealing new layers and details day by day.
The beauty of Györgykovács wines is that they require patience and attention. Opening a young bottle and drinking it straight away is a wasted opportunity. But give the bottle some time to breathe after opening, wait a day or two and/or decant it, and you’ll be rewarded with an exceptional blast of flavors, layered on top of each other and bursting out of the glass.
Instead of a serving suggestion, we have a request: please, please don’t drink these wines straight after opening. White wines rarely need this much time to open up and breathe, but believe us, this are exceptional wines and they’re worth the wait. Those incredibly complex layers are hidden and need time to appear, just like the power that formed the mountain. It’s rare to find a winemaker who is in such harmony with is vineyards and wines, and at the same time so focused on providing good quality to his customers. The honesty and purity of his character reflects deep through his wines.
We brought many of these wines months ago but we decided to wait before presenting them to make sure they are ready to show their full potential. We’re proud to present these unique, genre-defining wines to you. Please experience them to the fullest.