The Sopron wine region is in western Hungary near the city of Sopron close to Lake Neusiedl. It consists of 1,900 hectares of vineyards between Lake Neusiedl and the Sopron mountains, a zone where Pannonian and subalpine landscape converge. Extending to the north and east are Lake Neusiedl and the marshlands of the Hanság, while to the west and south there are the massive foothills of the Alps: the Leitha and Sopron mountain ranges.
The Winemaker. Franz Reinhard Weninger, born in 1979, grew up on his parents' wine estate in Horitschon in Central Burgenland. There he not only learned the art of making wine from his father, but developed his great passion for this profession. After graduating from enology school in Klosterneuburg, he did internships at Schloss Sallegg (Italy), Kendall-Jackson's Vinwood Cellars, California (USA), and the Mundrakoona Estate (Australia). In 2000 he took over as enological and organizational director of the Balf estate near Sopron.
The Weninger family has long since adopted a way of working based on the principle of exerting as little influence on the growth of the plants as possible so that the vines will once again find their natural balance. Since 2006 the organic cultivation method at the Balf estate has been monitored by Biokontroll Hungary. Converting to a biodynamic production method was simply the next logical step toward coming closer to nature and improving quality. In 2006 the winery began its conversion to biodynamic vinification.
The vineyards on the Frettner and Spern Steiner sites are located in the southwestern corner of Lake Neusiedl. They are extraordinary because they are located on a hillside (220 m above sea level) with a view of the reed zone and the lake (90 m above sea level). The site slopes gently southeastward, exposing the grapes to the morning sun and providing optimal light conditions. In addition, the vineyards are sheltered by the Sopron mountains and also influenced by the warm, moist microclimate along the shore of Lake Neusiedl. The Sopron wine area is characterized by its division into small zones all facing the lake. The various soil types produce a great diversity of microclimatic conditions in a relatively small area. These microclimates offer many possibilities for the cultivation of wine, which Franz Reinhard Weninger proves through the wide range of grape varieties growing on his terrain. Thus, the 22 hectares of vineyards on both the Frettner and Spern Steiner sites produce extremely warm, ripe, and harmonious wines.
The story of our family winery has started in 2014 with only a few hectares of vines – since then we have been making wines from 15 hectares and three different parcels in Balatonfüred and Balatonszőlős. Sustainable farming and organic wines are the essentials of our philosophy, just as the most important variety of the Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region, the olaszrizling.
Besides that pinot gris, merlot and zweigelt give the basis of our wines and cuvées, but we are constantly experimenting, studying and developing our plantations to show the character of our vineyards and the way we see the world around.
We do not have decades of experience or generations of winemakers behind us, but there is a dedicated and enthusiastic professional team with whom we are better acquainted with the potential of our plantations day by day.