Peter Wetzer Kekfrankos
Working in the wine trade in Vienna, Péter Wetzer became passionate about Europe’s classical wine regions, and realized that his home region of Sopron in Hungary was the former capital of Burgenland - the spiritual home of Blaufränkisch (known in Germany, and parts of our own Shenandoah Valley, as Lemberger). Peter purchased 2.5 hectares spread over 5 different terroirs in 2007. It was a long hunt for healthy soils that hadn’t been party to the industrial farming that was commonplace during Communism. He found sites that were alive with flora and fauna, and healthy cover crops Péter works organically, everything is done by hand. In his family’s cellar, Péter uses the original old press and takes advantage of the building’s rich microbial flora to vinify his wines naturally in open-top containers. His Kékfrankos (the Hungarian name for Blaufränkish) spends a year in 300-1000 liter used Hungarian oak barrels before being bottled with no fining or filtration. Wetzer says that people in Sopron were originally working the vineyards like they do in Burgundy. Small plots over generations and generations. People used to know how to react to vintages, how best to farm each special place, when to pick, and so on. According to Peter, ”That has been lost here and now we need to get it back.” “I’m trying to continue the past.”
The comparison to Burgundy is more than poetic. If you love earthy Pinot Noir or Cabernet Franc, or if you have enjoyed the excellent Blaufränkisch grown in the Shenandoah Valley, you will find much to admire in this Hungarian wine.