Badacsony terroir: century long tradition
Sabar team gives recommendations to visitors
What is so special about the terroir of Badacsony? Why is the local community so active and cohesive? What are the most important grape varieties? In the following interview Gábor Ádám, leader of Sabar Wine House and Bálint Földi winemaker will answer these questions, plus they give some personal recommendations for those visiting the magnificent wine region.
What’s the strength of Badacsony wine region?
- Bálint Földi: The volcanic soil, the large number of sunny hours, the amount of heat, which makes the local grape varieties – like Kéknyelű – ripen fully. Owing to basalt soil the resulting pH in the grape and the wine is higher, thus the acids are more pleasant, the sensation of acidity is softer, more gentle. Besides the blessings given by nature, it is important to emphasize the community of local people helping each other in their lives and work.
- Gábor Ádám: Apart from the microclimate and the ideal soil for growing vine, I should mention the scenery of ours: the largest lake of Central Europe, Balaton can be found here. An also the manmade landscape: the vineyards, the villages, the winding roads, the chapels, the old rural houses, the traditional cellars…
How would you describe Badacsony wine and what do you think it is capable of?
- Gábor Ádám: It has a more significant nutrient content, and is characterized by minerality.
- Bálint Földi: Layered and exciting. Charming, easy to drink, and at the same time it has a long ageing potential as a result of its extracts and structure.
- How many different types of Olaszrizling do you make? Could you describe the product pyramid of Sabar Wine House?
- Bálint Földi: Ideally we have four types: a 100% stainless steel fermented and aged BalatonBor (Balaton Wine), one that contains some barrel fermented and / or aged wine (called Hegybor – ‘Hill Wine’), a 100% barrel fermented and aged single vineyard wine, and – when the vintage is merciful with us – a spontaneously fermented specialty in limited quantity, maybe with some residual sugar.
- Gábor Ádám: We managed to make this latest type in 2016. It will be released soon under the name ‘529’ – the number refers to the amount of bottles made.
What recommendations would you give to visitors to the region? What natural or other sights do you advise? Any wineries to visit and any grape varieties that they should not miss?
- Gábor Ádám: I suggest to visit the region in any part of the year, and it is a must to discover the tiny wineries farther from the lake. Wine drinking should be paired with other experiences: gastronomy, music, hiking, riding bicycle, rowing. And what about climbing Tóti hill and watch the sunset at our place, Sabar Wine House? Taste Olaszrizling, Rhine Riesling, Szürkebarát (Pinot Grigio), Budai Zöld and Kéknyelű, but discover the region’s rosé and red wines as well, you won’t be disappointed!
- Bálint Földi: It is a wonderful experience to hike through all the witness mountains: all of them offers different miracles regarding both wines and natural beauties. Swimming in lake Balaton is unmissable in summer, while in cold weather the unique lake cave in Tapolca is a great sightseeing. Local wine cellars await visitors all year long with unforgettable degustations. Some recommended wineries: Bencze winery, Nyári cellar, Ambrus Bakó, Villa Sandahl, Zoltán Málik, Németh Cellar, Csendes-dűlő vineyard, 2HA estate. Plane wine terrace in Badacsony is a good starting point with a wide selection of local wines and with wine tastings.