Summer wine from the southern Villány?

The summer days are getting hotter and hotter, drinking heavy red wines is not the first thing that comes to our mind. So, what does a red wine region drink in the hot season? János Horváth winemaker of Streit Zágonyi winery in Villány (South Hungary) explains how he makes summer wine. He also tells us what was the most popular wine at his own, recent wedding!

Streit Zágonyi is a relatively young player in Villány, they arrived like a comet a few years ago, their fruity, exciting wines with reasonable prices gathered many fans immediately.
János Horváth has been working with the owners since 2015, the team is great, János feels at home – and he can still take care of his own love project, a 3.5 hectares vineyard managed together with his brother.

At harvest only beer

If you visit Villány, the southernmost wine region of Hungary, you will find two parallel worlds. The famous estates are walking distance from each other, fancy wine hotels and restaurants are abundant. But if you just pop in any of the local bars in the centre of the town, you won't believe that you are in a wine region. Beer, long drinks, hardly any wine.
János also admits that during harvest time he drinks only beer. If he drinks wine in summer, it is usually a fruity, light red Portuguiser in the evening. 
János also mentions their recent hit, the orange wine – if chilled well, it can be a good pairing with a summer lunch or dinner.
"Streit Zágonyi Orange Wine 2022 is made of 100% Hárslevel
ű. There were 14 days of skin contact. Rich in fresh and dried fruit, a full-bodied wine with some tannins. Adventure seekers first!"


Rosé out, Muscat in

The rosé trend seems to be unstoppable, however, János can see some change, some decrease in the demand for rosé wines. According to their experiences, young people and beginner wine drinkers start preferring the aromatic Muscat wines instead, by itself or in a "fröccs" ("spritz", wine mixed with sparkling water), this is why their aerated Muscat Ottonel is so popular. They are also thinking of planting some Olaszrizling vines, János loves the typical bitterness in the aftertaste of Olaszrizling wines.

How to keep the acidity?

János does some "mock harvests" weeks earlier in every vineyard of the estate. He also plays with the canopy, namely, he leaves the canopy to protect the clusters. The harvest takes place rather little earlier than not – the goal is to keep the acidity, even if the alcohol level is lower.
The ph is 2–3.25 for entry level wines and up to 3.5 ph in case of premium wines. Speaking of refreshing, invigorating wines, János mentioned Syrah, as one of his most preferred grape variety for its exciting spiciness. Streit Zágonyi also has a fruit-driven red blend called Diala made of Portugueser, Kékfrankos and Merlot.

And how about a summer wedding?

János Horváth has first-hand experiences about this topic: his wedding took place in May, but on a summer-like hot day. Quite understandably not much red wine was consumed. And the rosés? "So-so". The wedding guests favoured the flavoursome Muscat and Irsai Olivér aromatic white wines. 


More about Streit Zágonyi winery



Upcoming key dates

  • 22 July 2024 Results published
  • 12 September 2024 Online brochure sent to importers & trade
  • 12 September 2024 Publication of Winelovers 100 Magazine (in Hungarian)
  • 14 September 2024 Winelovers 100 Grand Tasting

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