A charismatic winemaker expressing a charismatic terroir
Károly Kolonics is a charismatic winemaker that, now the fourth generation at the helm of his family’s estate, produces wines of extreme purity, varietal character and terroir expression. His approach to winemaking adds precision to the ancestral traditions of the Somló region and has created a range of true modern classics.
Location: Somlò, Hungary
Working with us since: 2020
Total area under vine: 9 hectares
Interesting fact: Károly became an unlikely social media sensation when an Instagram post from an enthusiastic visitor went viral. It focused on the extraordinary quality of his Juhfark wines, while playing with the phonetics of the grape’s name and the fact that these used to be the traditional ‘wedding night wines’. You get the picture…
While many have, over the generations, left Somlò and its ancestral vineyards behing, Károly Kolonics was determined to stay true to his passion for the local terroir and indigenous grapes. Now the fourth generation at the helm of his family’s small property on the Smolò hill, he has become a symbol for the unique potential of the region’s terroir and grapes.
Kolonics farms a total of 9 hectares, planted with Riesling, Hárslevelű, Olaszrizling and Juhfark (pronounced you-fark). The vineyards are worked sustainably by hand and yields are kept incredibly low to ensure only the best fruit is harvested. Károly’s work in his small cellar adds precision and technical awareness to the ancestral methods he learnt from his father and grandfather. The result is a range of modern, classical single-varietal and single vineyard wines that have gained an international following.
All his wines are fermented spontaneously and aged for 2 to 3 years in old oak and acacia barrels, gaining textural complexity and enhancing the distinct minerality of Kolonics´ Smolò vineyards.
Somlò, the smallest wine region in Hungary, is a volcanic hill, the uneroded core of an ancient sea-bed volcano. It stands on the Pannonian Plain, north of Lake Balaton, with its unique basalt soils, thus benefiting from the lake’s moderating influence and the clearing Pannonian breezes.
It is this unique terroir, as well as the varieties that have grown locally for centuries, that Károly pays tribute to in each bottle.