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Kreinbacher Birtok
by
Kathy Sullivan

Kreinbacher BirtokSummary: Our visit to Kreinbacher, a modern-style winery in the Somlo wine region, began with a stop for lunch in the Kreinbacher onsite restaurant. Visitors to the winery and restaurant will be struck by the architecture of the winery which encompasses many spheres and curves. The winery is also a wedding venue.

Our visit to Kreinbacher Birtok began with a visit to the guest area which is brightly lit with sunshine and light from large windows. The room offers a large industrial-type of restaurant, a wine bar and seating areas. After our lunch we enjoyed a tour of the winery and a wine tasting.

Kreinbacher Birtok is located in the Somlo wine region in the upper part of the Lake Balaton region. The Somlo wine region is Hungary’s second smallest wine region. The winery is 30 kilometers from Lake Balaton. This means the vineyards at Kreinbacher are not affected very much by the lake. The Somlo wine region has 750 hectares (1,853 acres) of vineyards. The soil is stone and very shallow - suitable for vineyards. This is a “little plain” which is part of Hungary’s Pannonian Plain. Juhfark is the main white grape grown in Somlo. Today there are approximately 35 commercial producers in Somlo.

The climate of the Somlo region includes 600 to 700 millimeters of rain. The sunshine is considered average with 1,000 hours of sunshine. The stone soil collects the sunshine’s heat and releases the heat in the evening. This heat lowers the humidity in the region.

The owner and driving force behind Kreinbacher is József Kreinbacher. The family arrived in Hungary more than a century ago. József is a builder but his passion is viticulture. He purchased the estate in 2002. On this estate he has 50 hectares (124 acres) of vineyards; another 25 hectares of grapes are sourced from other producers. Grape varieties include Olaszrizling, Furmint, Juhfark, Hárslevelü, Traminer and Chardonnay. The vineyards have been cultivated organically since 2008. By 2023 all vineyards in Somlo will be organic. It was interesting to learn that Kreinbacher conducts workshops on organic farming. The winery purchases additional grapes from the Danube and Transdanubia wine regions. During the tour it was emphasized that the winery only purchases grapes, not juice.

Kreinbacher BirtokThe Kreinbacher facility is built in a campus style. The buildings include a still wine building, sparkling wine building, wine aging and disgorging structure, hotel and restaurant. The modern-style facility was built in 2011. The architecture of the buildings was designed to fit in with rolling hills or the “green waves” of the landscape. Numerous circular windows are on some of the buildings giving an appearance of sparkling wine bubbles.

A hotel is also a part of Kreinbacher Birtok. Currently the hotel offers 16 hotel rooms. Future plans include adding another 14 rooms. The size of the hotel is balanced with the size of the kitchen capacity.

Kreinbacher BirtokWinemaking

The winery has a 50 cubic meter capacity. During a tour, two-story high stainless steel tanks were seen. The modern-style cellar is curved with oak barrels lining the walls. French, Austrian and oak barrels from Hungary’s Tokaj region are used. A subtle way of telling consumers whether a wine was oaked or produced in stainless steel tanks is the way the wine bottles are sealed. Screw tops indicate the wine was only in stainless steel tanks. Corks mean the wine was fermented and aged in wood.

Kreinbacher BirtokFurmint is the main grape for the Kreinbacher sparkling wines. Also Chardonnay or Pinot Noir may be used depending on the cuvée and the actual vintage. The first harvest for sparkling wines was in 2011. After bottle aging, Kreinbacher released the portfolio of sparkling wines beginning in 2014. The sparkling wine bottle labels feature a hussar cut image. This is a symbol of the Hungarians.

Kreinbacher wants the wines produced to offer only a subtle oak influence. The winery wants people to think, “Is there oak or isn’t there?”

Kreinbacher BirtokWines

The Brut Prestige NV had 12% alcohol. The wine produced with Furmint and a little Chardonnay had 8 g/L of residual sugar. The yellow colored wine had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a central mousse. The aroma was of apple. The taste offered a lively mouthfeel with apple. The bubbles danced on the tongue. The finish was refreshing and cleansing. The wine had a long apple aftertaste. The logo of the winery is represented by the image of a snowdrop flower.

Kreinbacher BirtokFurmint 2017 was a light yellow color. The aroma was of mineral with yellow stone fruits. The taste included yellow stone fruit, daisies and mineral. The finish was long with notes of flowers, fruit and mineral. The finish plays with the flowers and fruit.

The 2016 Oreg Tôkén Bora had 12.5% alcohol. The wine was a blend of Olaszrizling, Furmint, and Hárslevelü. This wine was 100% barrel fermented and aged. The yellow colored wine offered an aroma of yellow stone fruit. The velvety mouthfeel was accompanied with stone fruit notes. The finish was fruity.

The 2016 Juhfark had 13% alcohol. The wine was 100% barrel fermented and aged. The wine was produced using natural yeast. The yellow colored wine offered an aroma of a hint of apple with yellow stone fruits. The full-bodied wine had a velvety mouthfeel. The taste included apples and yellow stone fruits. The finish was fruity. The long aftertaste featured fruit yielding to mineral. Pairing suggestions included: cabbage, pork, lake fish with sour cream and poultry.

Kreinbacher Restaurant

We enjoyed lunch at the Kreinbacher Restaurant prior to our tour of the winery. With our lunch we had a Brut Nature. This wine was produced with Furmint and Chardonnay grapes. The wine had multiple columns of tiny bubbles forming a central mousse. The dark yellow wine offered an aroma of citrus and apple. The mouthfeel was lively with apple notes. The finish was refreshing and the aftertaste offered apple notes.

Kreinbacher BirtokOne of the notable sculptures on the wall was a map of Hungary. The sculpture was made of melted iron frying pans. The regions of Hungary are delineated. A fried egg shows the location of Kreinbacher Birtok.

The restaurant menu includes categories of starters, soups, main courses and desserts. We chose to eat lightly and shared a charcuterie plate.

The main idea that Kreinbacher wants to emphasize is that they want to reach the highest level of quality that can be consumed everyday. They want to showcase the potential of the Somlo wine region.

Wine enthusiasts visiting the renowned Lake Balaton region, may want to consider traveling to Kreinbacher Birtok to discover the wines of the second smallest wine region in Hungary.

Kreinbacher Birtok
8481 Somlóvásárhely, Somlóhegy 1674 hrsz, Hungary

 

 

Article written May 2019.

 

 



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