History of Szörényi Winery2020-06-23T21:41:54+02:00
HISTORY OF SZÖRÉNYI WINERY
The foundations of Szörényi Winery were laid by my beloved grandmother, Emília Zóbel, in October 1973. My grandmother from Budapest has longed for a plot of land near Lake Balaton and she dreamed of viticulture and winemaking. On a harsh and foggy autumn day, fate led her to the vineyard of Felsőörs / Balatonalmádi Old Hill, where she managed to buy the first plot of land of the Winery, the foundations of our northern guest house and the vineyard. The fog was so thick that day that practically nothing could be seen from the panorama when they walked around the land. So the family and the wine-loving community are endlessly grateful to her (and Karcsika who accompanied her to the viewing) for trusting their intuitions and the seller’s words and made a deal without having seen the stunning view and the special location of the vineyard.
1973 - 1987
The guest house located in the northern corner of the plot was hand-built by the family members, with the help of our neighbour, Mihály. The first vine grapes were planted in 1974 on 700m2 of land. The result of the mix of white and blue grapes was first savoured in 1979. Our first wine, largely made from a blend of Riesling Italic and Pinot Gris, was bottled in 1980, and the cork was sealed with wax adorned and sealed with my father’s ring showing the family coat of arms. Around this time, the processing and storage of the wines took place in the cellar of my maternal grandmother in Törökbálint. In 1983, the house and vineyard in Felsőörs were transferred from common family ownership to my father, who from the very beginning had the case of viticulture and winemaking at heart.
In 1987, the area expanded fivefold when my father purchased the approximately 6,000m2 grassy, uncultivated plot next to us, with a crumbling press house and cellar. After the settlement of the area, additional vine grapes were planted in a cordon system. More than 1,100 grape, apple, apricot, peach, cherry, sour cherry, quince, pear, and fig tree shrubs were planted. Being in poor condition, the press house was renovated, using the locally famous red stone around Lake Balaton, which today forms the heart and soul of the winery. For processing, to this day we use “inherited” traditional 500-litre press together with the press house, and we have established a wine museum around the press.
1997 - 2009
Year after year, my father fell deeper in love with wine and winemaking, constantly improving the cellar and technology. Our northern guest house underwent a renovation in the early 2000s, and we doubled the capacity of the wine cellar. We gradually replaced our old wooden barrels with stainless steel tanks, but the 10-litre wooden barrels decorated with the family coat of arms remained the jewels of the first level of the cellar, which conceal the Tokaj and Balaton aszú made by my father. From 1997 to 2001, Csaba Szörényi Sr. continued his professional training, first becoming a wine enthusiast then an advanced beaker, and at the end of his studies, he passed the wine connoisseur exam at the House of Hungarian Wines.
2009 - 2017
Myself, Csaba Szörényi Jr. was born in 1976, I spent most of my free time as a youth at Lake Balaton, I grew up among the vines, I learnt the basics of the profession from my father. My real breakthrough in winemaking and passion for the associated technicalities began around the age of 30. I began to devote more and more time and energy to activities related to grapes and wine. From 2009 I took part in several oenological training courses at the institute formerly known as Dionysos Wine House, where I was enriched with lifelong experiences and friends. After becoming familiar with the wonderful world of oenology and wine tasting, in 2015 I obtained a qualification as a winemaker at the István Soós Vocational School of Wine.
From the beginning of my career as a winemaker, the sports and passions that define my youth (parachuting, base jumping) have gradually been pushed into the background but they are still present in my life as hobbies. Taking the baton from my father, I produced my first vintage in 2017. With the help of my family and friends, viticulture and winemaking will continue to develop under my direction. From 2020 onwards, I also adopted a new passion: I attempt to perfect the distillate of fruits grown in the Felsőörs region as a private brewer. I make special quality pálinka for consumption with family and close friends: for whom the estate hosts several events each year.