All the old cities with rich history have families that live, age and renew together with the place.
Our family is one of them. The life of the Vesztergombi family is closely and inseparably intertwined with Szekszárd.
The family coat of arms, which we use on our labels, comes from the early 1700s. This serves as evidence that our family has been cultivating grapes and making wine out of them for a long time.
Szekszárd's first vineyard judge was called György Vesztergombi. His title meant both high professional and social recognition at the time. It was an important office, as it is today. It was the first time that the demand for listing the owners of vineyards and making a record of the wine that was produced there occurred. Starting from that time, they have been keeping exact numbers and records about the wines of Szekszárd.
In addition, it is important to mention that the Vesztergombi family owned a classically large farmland. It dealt with almost every branch of the production chain, from cereal production to sawmill and vineyard cultivation. The latter has always played an important role as the peak of the activities and provided a framework to it all.
The previous regime did not support family farming and quality centric thinking. It did not make the family’s life easier that my grandfather Ferenc Vesztergombi Senior had served as crown officer in the Second World War and as such he was outcast and alienated in the system, being deprived of everything he had, which was forcedly given to the collective farm. The allowed and remaining vineyards of 800 fathoms per person were not only for personal consumption but had an important role in maintaining family traditions. Every autumn, harvest was perhaps the most important family event, where everyone expressed their gratefulness for the harvest in a good mood. We made red wine that had been aged in barrels for a long time, we made siller that was consumed daily and we made the traditional white wine. During these harvests the younger generation had unknowingly become an expert and a fan of the Szekszárd vineyard.
This is also how my father, Ferenc Vesztergombi turned to the winemaking profession. After graduating from college in Kecskemét as a winemaker, he cultivated his knowledge in other wine regions for a few years, then returned home and began winemaking at the only option that was available at the time - the State Farm.
By the time the change of the regime took place, a range of opportunities had opened up. With the help of the privatisation we got back 10 hectares of vineyard along with a wine cellar on Kadarka Street. Based on these he founded our family business in 1991.
1993 was an important year for us, since Ferenc Vesztergombi was selected as the "Winemaker of the Year". He was the third person honoured with this very prestigious award, which at that time was not only attributed according the winemaking professional arguments and the quality of the wines produced, but also based on the wine region and the work done in the winemaking community. At that time, the latter was perhaps more difficult, more challenging than actually improving the estate.
The city of Szekszárd also thought that his achievements should be appreciated. My father had received the “Közjóért” (For The Common Good) award and soon afterwards the title of Honorary Citizen of the City of Szekszárd.
Over the years, the vineyard has grown, just as I did. I naturally fit into the day-to-day operation as I graduated from my first college, which gave me a marketing degree in agricultural engineering. My first degree was followed by a professionally more important one. I became a student of Vineyards and Winemaking at the University of Horticulture (back then named: St. Stephen's University). In the meantime, I spent a harvesting season in Australia, which gave me an important experience and knowledge. Whenever I have the opportunity, I continue to be open in gaining international professional experience.
Today, together with my father and my mother Piroska, we are trying to carry out the tasks of managing the winery. The new generation is also trying and getting familiar with the ambience of the cellar and vineyards.
We have a 27-hectare vineyard. Most of this is re-planted, relatively young grapes, but even these grapevines are reaching maturity one after the other.
It was an important and necessary step to replace the old large plantations with modern, new plantings.
There was a significant increase in the vine per hectare, as in the old plantations there used be around 2-2500 vines trying to produce the quality that we like, whereas, depending on the location of the new plantations we can count 4-5000 vines per hectare. However, it should also be noted that in the case of new plantations we are certain about what kind of grape is growing. This was not so clear on the old collective farm vineyard.
It is also important that in addition to the increased vine we are also able to decide on the limitations of the harvest.
We believe that our vineyards are in the best slopes of Szekszárd’s wine region.
We believe it is the country’s best and most beautiful wine region.
Where the "mountain" meets the plane and where the water of the Danube and the Sió River wash the "mountain’s" leg that is where you can find the wine region of Szekszárd.
Several larger valleys and their smaller adjoining valleys give the region an incomparable character. Thus giving a geographically varied picture, but what is perhaps more important to us, providing a rarely seen variety of produced wines.
On the red wine producing areas, most of the grapes are around 70% blue grapes.
Apart from the few exceptions, almost every kind of blue grape variety produced in Europe feels good in Szekszárd, however, white grapes can easily find their home in this region as well.
As a traditional variant of blue grapes, Kadarka has to be highlighted, while the whites are represented by the Olaszrizling (Welshriesling).