Winery of the Year 2023: Pannonhalma Archabbey Winery
Cheers to the most serious acknowledgement
Winemaker of the Year, Winemaker of the Winemakers, The Most Beautiful Winery of the Year – there are so many awards, and certainly each of them has its significance, however undoubtedly the Winery of the Year takes the most effort to win. Not only during the selection process, but constantly. Pannonhalma Archabbey is the first estate in the history of the award to receive it twice.
In our cover photo Tamás Illés marketing & sales manager and Beáta Nyúlné Pühra winemaker (Nyakas Winery) raise their glass to celebrate
Why is this award so precious?
The Winery of the Year award is a highly recognized annual award in Hungary given annually. The award was founded in 2002 by the National Council of Wine Regions, the Hungarian Wine Academy and the Association of Hungarian Grape Growers and Winemakers, the procedure is organized by Bacchus Studio. The winery to gain the award should enter the competition with a carefully worked out, detailed document and then a professional jury decides the winner. When deciding, the professionals take a lot of aspects into consideration, like these:
– The quality of wines produced in the winery.
– The impact of the winery on local, regional, national and international level.
– The role of the winery in increasing the good reputation of Hungarian wines.
– The work of the winery to make quality and moderate wine drinking more popular.
– The image of the winery and the wines.
– The look of the winery building and all its facilities.
– Innovations, recent development of the winery.
– The size, condition, age of vineyards.
– Employees working conditions, the number of new workplaces created
The selection procedure has changed this year, now there is a nomination period (by a wide range of professionals), and then the three wineries with the nomination is asked to prepare the detailed document about the winery. This year A Gere, Takler and Pannonhalma Archabbey wineries gained the most nominations thus they have submitted the detailed documents. Upon receiving the competition files, a jury of 27 knowledgable professionals selected the winner: this year it is Pannonhalma Archabbey.
On holy land
The winery cultivates about 50 hectares divided among four major vineyards, each of which used to belong to the Abbey in the historic past. Since the natural conditions of Pannonhalma closely resemble those of the upper Loire Valley and Alsace, two-thirds of the vineyards are planted by grape varieties that make crisp, easy-drinking white wines of fine quality – mainly from Rhein Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, and Gewürztraminer. In designing the composition of the vineyards, the estate has made it a point to uphold local and historic traditions by making room for Olaszrizling (Welshriesling), a native Hungarian variety as well as for Királyleányka, originally from Transylvania, the historic part of Hungary.
With visitors arriving from all corners of the world, the winery devoted one third of the acreage to popular international varieties that have shown good promise for the long term, such as Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Franc. Among the red grapes, Pinot Noir has a prominent role as being ideally suited to the local climate and soils, and therefore uniquely capable of expressing the potential of Pannonhalma as a red wine producing district.
More about Pannonhalma Archabbey
Earlier award winners
(The award was not given every year. Pannonhalma Archabbey already won the award in 2010 as well.)
2019 Günzer Tamás Winery, Villány
2016 Patricius Winery, Tokaj
2015 Frittmann Winery, Kunság
2014 Koch Winery, Hajós–Baja
2013 IKON Winery, South Balaton
2012 Mészáros Wine House, Szekszárd
2011 Thummerer Winery, Eger
2010 Pannonhalma Archabbey, Pannonhalma
2009 Szöllősi Winery, Neszmély
2008 Vylyan Vineyard and Winery, Villány
2007 Bock Winery, Villány
2006 Garamvári Vineyards, South Balaton
2005 Disznókő, Tokaj
2004 Hilltop, Neszmély
2003 Tokaji Oremus, Tokaj
2002 Szőlőskert Rt., Mátra