17 May 2022 / Vera Szűcs-Balás / Photos by Nándor Lang
We started our day in the town of Agárd, on the southern shore of the lake, which starts to come alive in early spring as the first cyclists around the lake appear. Csóbor Winery on Balatoni road is not only a highly recommended stop for cyclists at the end of the day for a spritzer (fröccs in Hungarian), but also for anyone who wants to experience what the grapes growing on the granite rock of the Velencei Hills can transform into. Winemaker Linda Csóbor-Kisari welcomed us and told us about the story of the 34-hectare estate and their wines.
She also told us about their achievements, which confirm their constant striving for quality, such as one of their products being one of the Winelovers top 100 wines and that she still feels good about the fact that they win the Wine of Gárdony award from year to year. As our eyes catch on a stone in the tasting room during the conversation, it is revealed that it is a tartar that was thickly deposited inside a barrel.
From Agárd, we headed for Lics Winery in Pákozd, one of the region's well-known wine-producing families, which also has an estate in Budafok and one in Szekszárd. Their Pákozd estate, surrounded by the vineyards and boasting a panoramic terrace, was a truly unexpected and pleasant discovery. While Balázs Lics, the owner and winemaker told the story of the cellar built by the Jesuit order in the 1750s, the four-legged member of the family, Mumu the dog, kept a watchful eye on the drone about to take off...
It doesn't take much imagination to see this beautiful landscape in July, when the hillside is already lush green, so it's no wonder why the winery is also a popular wedding and event venue. From the 30 hectares, Chardonnay, Irsai Olivér, Juhfark, Szürkebarát (Pinot Gris), Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are processed.
While in Pákozd, we couldn't miss the Miska-Hussar statue, visible from the highway, with its massive 12.5 metres height. The statue commemorates Hungarian Hussar traditions and holds the title of the world's tallest Hussar statue.
The third winery which we had the opportunity to visit that day was ApróKertek Winery near Pázmánd. It is quite unique because as the Hungarian name suggests (ApróKertek meaning Tiny Gardens) it is very small indeed: they farm just over two hectares, and also because they grow grapes and make wine in a sustainable, environmentally friendly way, as we learn from Zoltan Veliczky.
Soon the other member of the winemaking team, Ádám Schubert joined us in the cellar, where we continued the conversation about this lesser-known wine-growing region, their winemaking philosophy and, last but not least, the Könnyűvér community wine that is slowly taking off as a local initiative.
Velence has many more surprises in store, so it's worth considering visiting a winery when planning your next lakeside hike or beach holiday.