TWO winemakers from a picturesque winery in the south of Hungary visited the Orange River Cellars’ Keimoes Cellar during the sunsoaked month of February.
Peter Urban and Orsi Bodri from Bodri Pincészet (Pincészet means winery) in the Szekszard wine region in the south of Hungary have been visiting Keimoes from 8 February.
This is their second visit to South Africa, but last year they only spend time in Cape Town and Stellenbosch.
They met Chris Venter, manager of the Keimoes Cellar, in Hungary last year and he invited them to the Northern Cape to see how this wine region works.
According to Urban they enjoyed their stay in Keimoes. “We are very happy to be here. Everybody is so nice and we had no problems. We felt like we became part of the team.”
Not even the weather with its constant forays in the 40C bothered them. They also come from a region where the summers are dry, but their winters can see temperatures of -10C.
Urban said they are not used to the quantities of grapes we produce here. “We have never experienced harvesting up to or even more than 40 tons per hectare. In Hungary to make a good quality wine we only harvest up to 13 tons per hectare.”
He added they also have a problem with water in summer. “You have so much water here, in dry summers we have difficulty in providing the vineyards with water. We only receive between 600 and 800mm rain during summer.”
Although their winery in Hungary makes mostly red wines, they are pleasantly surprised with the white wines that are produced here. “The white wines in the Orange River region are very good and especially the chenin blanc and the colombard is very refreshing.”
Urban also said although this area with its weather and the quantities that are produced are not ideally suited for the making of red wines, he can see a good progression in the making of red wines. “Ruby cabernet can be made into an easy-drink good quality wine,” he said.
They enjoyed their visit to this region because of the challenges winemakers here face because of the quantity of grapes they receive. “To take a few grapes and produce a boutique wine is not nearly as challenging as working with the quantities your winemakers face.”