Winemaker's Story

Bock Cellars

József Bock's family arrived from Germany and settled in the region of Villány, Hungary in the 18th century. In 1956 people of German origin were evicted, but Bock's hospitalized father, Antal, refused to leave. A few years later, he bought back a tiny plot of his family's original vineyard on Jammertal Hill. A region most notably known for its rich red wines. Their family established a successful viticulture business and continued their investments in the land. After the difficult Socialist rule their business began to thrive in the new markets. Over nine generations later, József Bock's winemaking has been recognized in many international and domestic competitions and have garnered dozens of gold medals and special awards. By 1997, he was named Hungary's Producer Of The Year.

József Bock spares no effort in looking after his Guyot-trained vines. He reviews the intricacies of pruning and caring for each vine in daily morning meetings with his viticulture team. He passes on generations of experience to his team that has very effectively produced top quality grapes from his vineyards. He even grows Hungarian Oak trees and his personal cooper makes the barrels to his specifications. Oak is skillfully integrated into his wines, creating rich and well-balanced flavors. He is known for blending interesting varietals such as Cabernet Sauvignon with Pinot Noir.

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Erzetic Winery

The Erzetic family homestead in Visnjevik has been called Martin's (pre Martinovih) since 1725, when its first owner, Martin, planted the estate. Their homestead and vineyard are just over the northeast Italian border. The viticulture tradition and love for wine were passed down from one generation to another. Today, Aleksij Erzetic blends traditions from his father, Anton, with modern practices resulting in exceptional wines that have traditional elements with a new world taste. Their amphora wines leverage an ancient technique from Greek times. After the wine has fermented in barrels, it is aged in immense 7 foot clay vessels that are stored in the earth of the cellar floor that keeps the wine at a constant temperature. The vessels are capped with wood and sealed. This method allows aging without influence from the oak barrels so the true terroir is revealed in the wine. The clay is less penetrable and the inflences on the wine are a brilliant gold-copper tint and nominal minerality.

The family is loyal to the land of Brda and tries to capture its charm and liveliness in their wines. Their wines have won a large collection of medals throughout European Competitions. Most notably is the Decanter World Wine Awards.

The Erzetic family owns six hectares of vineyards around Visnjevik and also cultivates some leased sites in the area. Some of their vineyards are among the highest in Brda, around 450 meters (1112 ft.) above sea level. These are rather windy sites that keeps the yield low and produces aromatic wines.

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Domain Porto Carras, Sithonia Peninsula

Domain Porto Carras The vineyards of Domaine Porto Carras are located on the western coast of Chalkidiki's Sithonia peninsula 6.5 hours northeast of Athens, Greece. At the point where the lush slopes of Mount Meliton slope meet the clear waters of the Gulf of Toroneos, over 1100 acres of stunning terraced vineyards make-up one of the largest and most picturesque vineyards in Greece. During a 1963 cruise to Mount Athos, the ship owner Giannis Carras fell in love with the coast of Sithonia and the vision of creating this vineyard project was inspired! The first plantings took place in 1965 and the first results were available in 1972.

The father of modern wine-making, University of Bordeaux Professor Emile Peynaud, was a significant contributor and assisted in determining the best grapes to plant in this climate and soil conditions. Eventually 27 varieties of grape were planted, consisting of 13 French and 14 Greek, from whence the first commercially vinted Cabernet from Greece came from the Slopes of Mount Meliton. But the indigenous varietals are the pride of the chateau. The owner's daughter, Ylianna Stengou, has devoted herself to the Domaine and the development of indigenous Greek varieties. Here they grow Limnio, the oldest recorded varietal and Assyrtiko, the oldest recorded white varietal.

Domain Porto Carras Domaine Porto Carras is the largest Organic vineyard in Greece thanks to the exceptional ecological profile of the region. The terraced vineyards are virtually free of most of the vine diseases that trouble producers in other regions and all the vineyards are planted in terraces allowing for perfect drainage. The domaine's chalky and schistose soils contribute to the low vine disease issues.

All of these factors come together perfectly to allow the best grapes in the country become some of the best wines in the world.

We invite you to share a bottle of history with us and understand our love of the Greek gift of wine!




Erzsébet Cellars Family Winery  

A gem of a winery! Expertise abounds and it consistently produces exceptional elegant wines. Erzsébet Pince, a boutique winery with a family of four winemakers and Master of Wine. They have been drawing global attention in multiple markets, most notably in Hong Kong and the United Kingdom. Their small boutique winery produces an average of 1,000 cases of wine each year.

Both parents are winemakers and both their daughter and son followed the wine making path. Recently, their daughter and Ronn Wiegand, Master of Wine, married and just had their first child in 2010. Who knows! There may soon be five winemakers in the family.

The Pracsers, founded the winery, in 1989, after the change in the political system in Hungary. Their over 200 year old cellar is located in the heart of the historical Tokaj village. The Tokaj wine region dates back to the 1720's.

The cellar was previously owned by the Russian Wine Trade Company that established the cellar to provide the Court of Russian Czars and Czarina Elizabeth with Royal Tokaj wines.

The Pracsers believe in and practice natural farming to protect the environment and people, as well as, minimal intervention in the winemaking process to ensure the characteristics of the terroir and fruit are revealed. Their large estate allows the nature of each vineyard to be expressed through the grapes it produces.

In 2009, their 2003 Aszúeszencia received Gold at Decanter World Wine Awards, one of the world's most prestigious wine magazines and organizations.

The vineyards are very special in the Tokaj region due to the volcanic bedrock that contains minerals, rich soils, good elevation and perfect exposure. Erzsébet's cultivate indigenous Tokaj varieties on 30 acres of land.

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Kupljen

The Kupljen family has been growing and making wine at their estate as far back as 1836. As one of the first professional private Slovene winemakers, Joze Kupljen launched the brand Vino Kupljen® in 1976. The Kupljen family exports over 40% of their wine, mostly to Germany. This is the best indication of the quality of their wines, since Kupljen makes wines that are the specialty of German viticulture. Today his son, Samo and his wife Lidija, are major contributors to the wine process. Their vineyards and estate are located in Ljutomer-ormoz wine district, an area known for centuries for superb winegrowing land and its high quality wines.

The soil and climate are renowned for producing fruit forward wines with a fresh character, whereby each vintage unveils a complexity of flavors. The Kupljen family practices eco-friendly cultivation in the vineyard, and in the wine making processes. They live and practice by the Vino Kupljen slogan: With Sun and Love!

Even Decanter Magazine believes in the Sun and Love slogan, because in 2010 alone they were rewarded with five more Decanter medals, adding to their long list of medals.

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Oszvald Pinceszet

Lajos Oszvald is well known for his exceptional indigenous varietals, such as, Olazrizling, Hárslevelü and Juhfark (ewe-fark, meaning sheep's tail) which are dry white wines with high minerality. His 2007 Juhfark was selected to represent Hungary in the 2009 London and Hong Kong fairs.

He is a scientific and meticulous winemaker who goes to painstaking details to ensure the vineyards are planted and grown according to each varietal's requirements.

When he selected the land to grow his vineyards he took a hundred years of literature and historic recollections into consideration. For instance, he accounted for the historical fact that icy rain comes once in 7 years, but it only affects one side of Somló hill. With this historical data, he adjusted the location of the vines for the effects of global warming. Therefore the vineyards are in three different villages on the hill (Somlójeno", Somlószo"lo"s and Doba), which are facing South-West, East and East-West. Each vineyard has extremely varied soils, and the planted varietals are best matched for those micro-climates. Since the soil in Doba is rich with iron and magnesium, this was ideal for planting Olaszrizling. He planted 30% Juhfark, 30% Furmint, 30% Olaszrizling (Italian Riesling) and 10% Hárslevelu" (Linden Leaf) varietals.

Lajos Oszvald continues to produce unique wines that consistently win awards throughout Hungary, and more recently, have won awards internationally.

Lajos Oszvald continues to produce unique wines that win awards throughout Hungary and over the past few years are winning awards at the international level.

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