Szekszárd it’s a pretty big wine region around 150 km south of Budapest. The wines there are full of fruit, round and have great drinkability factor. When two years ago we published in Magazyn Wino cover story focused on Szekszárd I quoted legendary Béla Hamvas, Hungarian wine philosopher, who described Szekszárd wines as those made for people in love. This is feminine wine, like a women in top point of her love skills, full of sweet fire – Hamvas wrote more than half a century ago.
Not everybody remember that Bikavér, famous Hungarian’s bull’s blood was born in Szekszárd. That region has a centuries-long tradition of great Kadarka. Today we can observe the renaissance of Szekszèrd which finaly comes out of the shadow of more famous Hungarian regions like Eger or nearby Villány and goes it’s own way.
It is a fruit of hard work of a group of winegrowers and winemakers who after 1989 were able to lead their own fate and the region in the right direction. Let me mention only Tamás Dúzi, Ferenc Takler or Péter Vida and there were many others as well.
But there’s one more man who lives in Szekszárd and it’s really difficult to overemphasized his merits for the region, for Kadarka and for Bikavér. His name is Zoltán Heimann and he’s with us tonight.
Old Swabian family of Heimanns came to Hungary in 1758 and traditionally they were winegrowers. But Zoltán’s way to the winery was not so straight as we could suppose. After the communism fall in 1989, 30-years old Heimann worked as a businessman leading to success couple of serious companies. On the other hand, already in the early 1990’s he started to make his own wine. Finally, he left business and together with his great wife Agi and older son, Zoltán junior he opened a fully professional winery on the top of Ivan Valey and pretty soon became a point of reference in Szekszárd.
Thanks his brave interpretation of old vines grapes he was one of the fathers of rebirth of Kékfrankos and Bikavér in the region. His Kadarka is among the top wines of this variety in Hungary (and you had a chance to taste it tonight). But even using international grapes Heimann is able to prove that on the Danube bank man can make one of the greatest interpretations of Cabernet Franc and Merlot in Europe.
But one of the most important topics is that Zoltán was able to unify the winegrowers and winemakres of Szekszárd and put this piece of land on the map of the greatest wine regions of the world again.
And beside it, Zoltán Heimann is just a great, very open and generous man and it’s a great privilege for me to know him and his family since almost 15 years and to be – I hope I can say it - his friend.
12 years ago, we decided to name first in history Man of The Year of Magazyn Wino György Lőrincz from Eger. And we did it even before Hungarians called György Man of The Year in his own country. Meanwhile, the Heimanns’ got Winery of the Year and received a lot of other prizes in his country. But this is not an obstacle for Magazyn Wino to call
Mister Zoltán Heimann a Man of the Year in Poland – country, of which he’s a big and honest friend.
Thank you very much for this wonderful suprise.
In the 18-19th century there was a saying in archaic Polish language:
„Nie masz wina nad Węgrzyna!”/Nincs jobb bor a magyarnál!
It is our sorrow, that we lost this image during the last 70-80 years.
I do think, that it is a good sign, that the Hungarian and Szekszárd wines are again on the World Wine map.