The award that values harmony – The award that is a compass for wine tourists
Many awards are given to wineries around the world, but to say that an estate is the “most beautiful” and to reward this with a prize is a unique undertaking. However, a complex set of criteria lie behind the seemingly subjective title.
Hungary’s Most Beautiful Vineyard Award was founded by the Bor és Piac magazine in 2012, on the initiative of editor-in-chief Zsófia Bozzai and publishing director László Szakács. The only Hungarian wine tourism award has come of age this year, with the winners of the 10th anniversary edition announced on 16 September at a ceremony attended by the finalists and the trade press.
Hungary’s Most Beautiful Vineyard is a two-round competition. Firstly, the wine-loving public votes to decide which estates will make it through to the final, then the competition’s expert jury will personally visit and evaluate the estates that have made it through to the second round using a 100-point system. Wineries can enter each year by filling in a form on the website and can then use the title “Hungary’s Most Beautiful Vineyard” in their communications for a year in their own category. But how do you become the most beautiful vineyard and what does the award mean?
“Our main assessment criteria are about the vineyard, the condition of the cellar and the harmony of the two, moreover how the estate fits into the cultural landscape,” said Zsófia Bozzai, editor-in-chief and one of the award’s founders.
Tringa Winery, Szekszárd Wine District (Pannon Wine Region)
“We’ve visited many wine regions both in Hungary and abroad, and we’ve seen that they differ wildly from a visual perspective. The typical estate structure in Burgundy is completely different in proportion than, for example, those in Bordeaux, where everything is organised around the châteaux. We thought, why not reward and evaluate wineries in a more complex way, based on visual and wine tourism aspects? It is important to note that this award is geared to tourism especially and is intended to be a compass for wine tourists. We reward whose efforts go above and beyond the average in terms of aesthetics and wine tourism, such as establishing an educational trail and highlighting the preservation of local varieties, but, for example, we also rate the cleanliness of the cellar,” emphasised Zsófia.
Tamás Günzer Winery, Villány Wine District (Pannon Wine Region)
The award celebrated its 10th anniversary in 2021, which shows that it has earned a legitimate place in wine communication and is important for wineries. It receives a lot of press coverage and also draws attention from a wine tourism perspective to the winning wineries, many of which communicate their results in English to wine tourists and visitors from abroad.
Dobosi Estate, Balatonfüred-Csopak Wine District (Balaton Wine Region)
In 2021, the public voted the following estates (in alphabetical order) as the most beautiful.
Finalists in the Small Estate category (up to 10 hectares): Grál Winery, Petrányi Winery, Tringa Winery
Finalists in the Medium-sized Estate category (10-50 hectares): Borbély Family Winery, Dobosi Estate, Günzer Family Estate
Finalists in the Large Estate Category: Tamás Günzer Winery, Schieber Winery, Sol Montis Winery
Sol Montis Winery, Mátra Wine District (Upper Hungary Wine Region)
What was especially interesting about this year’s competition was that there were two brothers among the finalists for the first time: Zoltán Günzer in the Medium-sized Estate and Támas Günzer in the Large Estate category.
For the first time in the history of the Hungary’s Most Beautiful Vineyard award, there was a tie in the Large Estate category, so two first place winners were announced. The title was awarded to Tamás Günzer Winery in Villány and Schieber Winery in Szekszárd, with Sol Montis Winery coming third.
Cover picture: Petrányi Winery