Mixing technologies and techniques with excellent grapes to make something really special
Wednesday 05 January 2022
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“I think your subscribers will find some things that surprise them in this wine,” says Balázs Vojtek with a grin. Having missed the tasting panel where we selected this distinctive red, I’m certainly looking forward to finding out what this tiny, inventive family winery has in store for us. Best known for its big reds and creative use of wood, Vojtek is certainly a wildcard, at home and for drinkers in the UK.
Balázs represents the fourth generation of this family business; his great grandfather got the ball rolling, and each subsequent generation has picked up the baton. His father currently runs the show, overseeing both the commercial operations and the cultivation of eight hectares of vineyard, lovingly tended across three sites. Situated in situated around Villány, these vineyards grow around 50% Cabernet Franc, as well as Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Kékfrankos.
“Our main goal is to make really unique wines,” Balázs continues. “So we don’t just age the wines in barrels, we always add a twist to make it a bit different, whether through blending, ageing in old barrels for a longer period, or sometimes experimenting with oak staves. We mix technologies and techniques with excellent grapes, and that makes something really special.”
In preparation for joining the family business full-time, the entrepreneurial Balázs is currently studying business leadership in Budapest, to help him take the Vojtek brand to an international audience. Coming at this challenge from a commercial standpoint, I’m curious to hear how Balázs sees Hungary’s international reputation, and whether it will help or hinder Vojtek’s export fortunes.
“I think in the past 30 years, Hungary has come a long way in shedding the reputation that we had for, to be honest, shit wine,” he says. “A growing number of wineries are doing amazing work now, like our friends at Jammertal, who’s red was named the best in the world, and you’re certainly seeing better care being taken on the cultivation side, as well as more professional winemaking. There is still too much that is sub-standard though, which doesn’t help, and makes it all the more important for those of us doing good work to show it to the world and tell our story. So, as much as my job is selling wine abroad, I also see it as advocating for Hungarian wine in general.”
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