Classic Kékfrankos – Steigler Winery
Sopron is somewhat of an outlier compared to other Hungarian wine regions. Lying just across the border from Austria, it shares its viticultural traditions with Austria’s Burgenland region, of which Sopron was once the capital. Just like in Burgenland, Kékfrankos is also the main variety in Sopron. The region’s climate is also unique, as its proximity to the Alps makes it a sub-Alpine region, with lower median temperatures, cooler and wetter summers, and higher rainfall than the rest of the country. Lake Fertő (called Neusiedl in Austria) straddles the border, and has a major tempering effect on the climate—ensuring that winters are relatively mild, summer is moderately hot, and fall is generally long and hot. This wine is a textbook Sopron Kékfrankos, capturing this terroir. It’s elegant and balanced, medium-bodied, and a little reserved. It has fresh acidity and a touch of minerality (from the schist in the soil). It is more spicy than fruity, but there’s lots of tasty sour cherry, cherry, and plum going on. Kékfrankos is a grape that really reflects its terroir, and this one is a perfect example of that. This is an organic wine, from vines that are eight to 20 years old. It was fermented in open vats for 12 to 15 days, and aged in 50 percent steel tanks and 50 percent oak barrels for 12 months. This wine is a crowd-pleaser. It’s really good to enjoy on its own, or with pasta and red sauce dishes, lasagna, or osso bucco.
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*Prices shown include Hungarian VAT (27%). Final prices are calculated based on the VAT of your shipping country.
Sopron is somewhat of an outlier compared to other Hungarian wine regions. Lying just across the border from Austria, it shares its viticultural traditions with the Burgenland, the region of which it was once the capital, Ödenburg. Like the Burgenland, its main red grape variety is Kékfrankos (aka Blaufränkisch), which makes up around two-thirds of its vineyard area. Indeed, the city identifies itself so much with the variety, that it has proclaimed itself the Capital of Kékfrankos. The city itself also has an Austrian feel and is home to a kind of wine tavern called Buschenschank not found anywhere else in Hungary. These date back to the 17th century when licenses were given to citizens to serve their own wine in their homes – often in the courtyard but also in the interior in winter. Its vineyards continue towards Rust and many winemakers of Austrian or even Croatian descent.
Sopron lies in the northwest of Hungary, directly on the border with Austria. Its 1,579 hectares of vines are planted on the slopes of the Sopron and Kőszeg Hills and around Lake Fertő, as Neusiedlsee is known in Hungary, at altitudes of 150-400m above sea level.
It is basically a direct continuation of the vineyards around Rust and the Leitha Hills in Austria. Nowadays, Sopron is predominantly a red-wine producing region, where Kékfrankos rules the roost. There are also small amounts of Zweigelt and Cabernet Sauvignon, but these run a distant second and third. Despite its relatively recent fame in the region, Kékfrankos is widely considered native to Sopron; however, it is more likely of Austrian origin. Its Austrian twin is also garnering much of the praise today too, as Hungarian versions are often more austere, lean and less immediately appealing. Sopron’s cool climate and partly calcareous soils typically yield wines dominated by red berry fruit and fresh spiciness with high, dynamic acidity but elegant, restrained tannins as well as somewhat lower levels of alcohol.
The most commonly grown white variety is Zöld Veltelini (aka Grüner Veltliner), which had dominated the entire region at the beginning of the 20th century.
Founded in 2015 by Bálint Lőrinczy, Steigler is an exciting addition to the winemaking scene in the Sopron region. Just across the border from Austria, near Lake Fertő, inemaking here dates back to the Celts.
The region has a noticeably German-character, with its wines sharing some similarities to the wines of Burgenland. Winemaker Tamás Varga has 21 hectares (52 acres) of organically farmed vineyards to work with. Steigler’s vineyards are located on some of Sopron’s best slopes, including the Steiger, Frettner, and Spern Steiner. One of the important characteristics of the soil in this region is the mica slate on the surface, which is found nowhere else in Hungary. As in Burgenland, Kékfranos (Blaufränkisch) is the most important grape in Sopron. In addition to Kékfrankos, Steigler also grows Cabernet franc, Furmint, Merlot, Muscat Ottonel, Pinot noir, Syrah, Zöldveltelini (Grüner Veltliner), and Zweigelt. They are especially proud of their Furmint plantations. Furmint was a major grape in the region until the early 20th century. All of Steigler’s wines are organic.
|Country||1-3 bottles||4-6 bottles||7-12 bottles|
|Austria||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Belgium||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Bulgaria||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Croatia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Czech Republic||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Denmark||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Estonia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Finland||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|France||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Germany||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Greece (mainland)||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Hungary (outside of Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||4,500 HUF|
|Hungary (Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||Free delivery for orders over 20,000 HUF|
|Ireland||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Italy||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Latvia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Lithuania||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Luxembourg||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Netherlands||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Poland||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Portugal||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Romania||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Slovakia||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Slovenia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Spain||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Sweden||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|