Review of the year - this was 2019 at the Tornai Winery

News of the year is our new success at London's International Wine Challenge, the world's most influential, rigorous and impartial wine competition. Here, the possibility of subjectivity and error is completely ruled out: each medal-winning wine is tasted on at least three separate occasions by a minimum of 12 different judges including Masters of Wine. The IWC assesses every wine ‘blind’ and judges each for its faithfulness to style, region and vintage.  Two of our wines (Grófi Hárslevelű 2017 and Grófi Juhfark 2017), received a rare high score, 95 points, and became gold medalists. However, the competition is not over with medals. The gold medalists are re-tasted and the best of each category is awarded the Trophy. This year, Grófi Hárslevelű 2017 received this highest recognition. We have been awarded the Trophy four times in the last 5 years, such a result is unprecedented in Hungary and is also rare in the world. Details here.

That's where the idea for a national road show came from, we decided to present these "best of the best" and other award-winning wines to the public. We went to Budapest, Debrecen, Szeged, Győr, Székesfehérvár and Veszprém, gaining consistent public and professional success and gaining new enthusiastic people for Somló. Details here.

After all, Somló provides the basis for our world-class wines. The soil and the climate, with indigenous grape varieties such as Juhfark, Hárslevelű or Olaszrizling, produce a unique taste that is unavailable anywhere else in the world. Somló is a small wine region and its limited quantity makes our wines more valuable and demanded.

In addition to the Trophy, we received many other significant recognitions in 2019. Our most successful variety was Juhfark (Aranyhegy 2015, 2016, Grófi 2017, Prémium 2016) with 8 awards. Zenit 2018 was awarded 7 medals alone, while 2018 Grófi Hárslevelű was awarded 5 medals. Zenit was also chosen as the wine of the Hungarian Science Academy. And - along with many other domestic and foreign exhibitions - we were successful at the Wine Paris in the center of the wine world, France. Top Selection Aranyhegy Juhfark 2016 was particularly successful: Belgian, French, Dutch, Italian and American experts also appreciated it. The American Bradley Alan simply said: "I've never tasted such authentic wine before!" Details here. Not only did we receive positive feedback from competitions, but more importantly, from our customers: in 2019, they bought much more Tornai wine than the previous year. Thank You.

In 2019 we took our hospitality to a whole new level. In addition to weddings, wine tastings and wine dinners, our restaurant was open on summer weekends with an à la carte menu - something we want to expand further this year. And there is food available in the wine shop: we serve tapas and a variety of paninis alongside the wines. It's simply called wine snack, but it's perfect for a light lunch or an afternoon snack. Details here.
From spring onwards, we are offering a new, very affordable package for those who are interested not only in wine and good food, but also in the sights of Somló. “Somló 3 in 1” includes breakfast or a bottle of wine, bicycle use and a detailed tour map, as well as a three course lunch or dinner for only 6500 HUF per person. This offer will be available again this year, we warmly recommend it. Details here. And of course we organized special programs as well in 2019: Carnival, Valentine's Day, Spring Greeting Weekend, Gluttonous Thursday, Family Easter, Night Cellar Tour, Somló Juhfark Celebration, St. Martin's Day, and Advent weekends.

Outstanding among the programs is the Somló Juhfark Celebration, which was organized for the fourth time in collaboration with the major wineries of the hill. The Big Tasting is a representative display of the Juhfark variety: the winemakers personally offer their best Juhfark wines, now 25 from 16 wineries. This event is especially important because the Juhfark is a special variety of Somló. It shows best the strengths of the terroir, the special minerality, and vice versa: the characteristics of Juhfark are best highlighted by Somló. The 2019 Juhfark Celebration also set a record for visitors, so many have never bought tickets for the event. Details here.

Of course, also last year we awarded the Somló - Endre Tornai Memorial Prize, at the traditional András's Day Wine Master Meeting, the annual gathering of profession and science. The Prize is awarded each year in two categories to those individuals who, through their activities, significantly develop the Somló region and the winery of Somló. The winners for 2019 are Éva Cartwright and Károly Kolonics.

And in the end of 2019 we accomplished a significant development. With the participation of the Minister of Agriculture, we have inaugurated our new processing plant, which, from concept to implementation, is based entirely on our own innovation, using a unique combination of advanced technology to ensure that all valuable ingredients of the harvested grapes will be preserved in the wine. This is achieved, on the one hand, by proper cooling and, on the other hand, by gentle, gravity-based processing methods. Details here. You can taste our first 2019 wines soon, and we hope they will be perfectly convincing. We look forward to welcoming you to wonderful Somló this year again.