Heumann is a small wine estate in the western end of Villány, South West Hungary, owned by Evelyne and Erhard Heumann, a Swiss-German couple that announce themselves as “Bavarians at heart”.
Their story dates back to 1973 when they met on a greyhound bus in Las Vegas, at a time when Erhard admits that all he knew about wine was 2 litre Lambrusco, though a career in banking meant he gradually learned more. The link with Hungary began in 1992 when Evelyne’s father came to Villány to look into setting up a chimney-making business. The chimney project didn’t work out, but he came home as the owner of a small vineyard, where the family built a holiday home and fell in love with Hungary. They made their first wine in 1996 but by 2003, they had accumulated 3 hectares and could make a real living out of it. Today the winery has 10 hectares of it’s own vines. The winery is small and functional, Erhard insists “the money is spent on the grapes”. Family succession is firmly in line as their son is now qualified as an oenologist and working in the family business.
The Heumanns believe in Cabernet Franc as a flagship for the region and particularly feel it shines on the limestone bedrock of their area. It’s also just a little bit cooler in the Western block than the main part of Villány which brings a touch of elegance rather than all-out-power to the wines. And they believe in letting the terroir shine by subtle use of Hungarian oak – often 500l rather than barriques. Perhaps not surprisingly Bavarian Erhard adores his Riesling and Kekfrankos (Blaufrankish)– in both cases made without any oak.