Villány – the motherland of Hungarian red wine
The southernmost wine-region of Hungary, and at the same time, the one with the best natural characteristics, is that of Villány, which lies at the same degree of latitude as the northern part of the Bordeaux wine-region. Its climate is also unique with respect to wine-growing, since the ridge of the Villány-hills block the unfriendly cold currents coming from North, and in the meanwhile the warmth of the southern slopes protected from the other side is strengthened by the tepid air coming from the region of the Mediterranean Sea. Lucky is the grape that is rounding out here! The proximity of the River Dráva brings morning dew on the grape leaves, thus the vineyards are fresh and strong even on hot summer days. The morning dew has a positive effect on grape flowering as well, since it attracts flying insects that help to pollinate the vineyards.
The limestone of the hill – which is covered, at some
places by several meters thick, rich, fertile Aeolian soil – absorbs heat
during the day to reflect it to the clusters on colder nights. The chalk cliffs
of the Szársomlyó hill act as a huge “tile stove”. The annual precipitation is
near 700 mm, the annual number of sunny hours reaches 2100 hours; the mean
temperature of the vegetation period is 17.5 °C, which is the highest value in
Hungary. The effect of geo-thermal heat cannot be neglected either. It keeps
the roots of the grape warm from below, which is also a unique feature of this
region. As a result, there are more medicinal thermal springs in the Villány
hills than, for example, in the nearby bath of international fame, Harkány.
The sub-Mediterranean micro-climate also rich in light brings excellent grape bearing flavorous and fiery wine onto the vine-stock.
The nearby excavations give evidence of viticulture in the Roman era at the wine-region, and there are also signs that even the ancient Celts who lived in the territory were employed in wine-production popularised by the Greeks. The Hungarian viticulture gaining shape after the Hungarian Conquest (896) had several roots and was flourishing unbroken for centuries. The Serbians arriving after the Turkish occupation introduced Kadarka, and the Germans settling at later times – in addition to their highly developed agricultural skills and work discipline – brought Kékoportó and Kékfrankos grapes with themselves, thus giving a new impetus to wine production in Villány. The expert and up-to-date agriculture emerging on the manors of the Savoyai, Albrecht, Batthyány, and later the Montenuovo families, raised wine-production to a master level in this region. As a result, Villány had become an internationally recognised wine-region by the 1870s. The wines grown there were popular even outside Europe, in North and South America, as well.
The great turn
Csányi Winery is located at the bottom of the eastern projection of Villány Mountains, on the outskirts of the town of Villány, along the main road, at the foot of the slopes hiding the extensive system of cellars. Its predecessor, Chateau Teleki Winery was established by Zsigmond Teleki in 1881.
The name of Teleki, a supplier to the Imperial and Royal Court of Vienna, became world-famous by finding disease resistant varieties during the philoxera epidemic that swept through Europe. His sons, Andor and Sándor, continued his work. Thanks to their innovative efforts, the dream of winegrowers was realized, this serious pestilence was overcome. Later on, the Chateau Teleki Winery gained distinction not only in the field of viticulture and the production of grafts but in the training and education of winegrowers as well.
Fine red wines have been produced here for centuries. When the world famous winery was nationalised, the oversized group of plants of the socialist winery scattered around was established focussing on the quantity of the wine to be produced: the grape processing plant was on one side of the motorway, while the wine was produced on the other, and the bottling facility and warehouse were located on the other side of the mountains. The buildings of the plants on the two sides of the mountains were connected by the large old system of cellars under the mountains.
After the winery had been privatised, the owners, committed to quality wine production, decided to completely overhaul it. They ended the spatial fragmentation of the old group of plants and the new winery based on cutting edge technology was built in the area between the motorway and the eastern projection of Villány Mountains – a spot that had always been closely linked to the old system of cellars – in a linear order.
Strictly examined vineyards
Methods of viticulture significantly affect the harvested grapes, hence the quality of the wine. Excellent wines can only be produced from healthy and carefully grown grapes. The vineyards of Csányi Winery are located on the best slopes of the Villány wine region. The most important ones are Kopár, Csillagvölgy and Hársos. Our whole area is over 380 hectares, with a production area of about 370 hectares. The grapes produced are Cabernet varieties (44%), Merlot (17%), Kékfrankos /Blaufränkisch/ (16%), (Portugieser and Pinot Noir (both 8%) and some other types (7%).
When, according to our plans, we can repurchase the vineyards used by specific groups of producers, our area will exceed 400 hectares.In order to achieve the best quality wine possible, we only use - even during the continuous plantation rocess -, such methods and technology which take the advantageous soil and climate conditions into consideration. We determine the quantity of the vine by considering all the relevant conditions of the area, the climate and the grapes, and practice the quality improving effects of yield limitation.