Six of the best terroir-focused Villány wineries

1. Vylyan Vineyards

vylyanSurrounded by its Dobogó vineyard, Vylyan winery is located on the slopes of Fekete-hegy (Black Hill), close to the village of Kisharsány.

The estate was established by Pál Debreczeni in the early 90s. A pioneer of Villány winemaking in the early post-Soviet days, Pál tragically died in a car accident in 2004. Since then his wife, Mónika, has been in charge, achieving a string of accolades with her winemaker, Istvan Szabó, in the intervening years.

Initially concentrating on Pinot Noir (Pál Debreczeni planted French clones with the help of Burgundy consultants), Vylyan has developed its focus on the indigenous Hungarian variety Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) and Cabernet Franc.

The Vylyan estate comprises five vineyards – Dobogó, Gombás (cooler, east-facing, for Pinot and Syrah), Pillangó (Merlot), Mandolás (means ‘almond’ – produces the estate’s top single-vineyard Cabernet Franc) and Városhegy.

Vyyan’s ‘icon’ wine, Duennium, is a Bordeaux blend only made in outstanding vintages.

Since 2011, Mónika Debreczeni says she made a much more conscious effort to promote freshness in Vylyan’s wines. The house style has certainly changed.

“In the 90s the fashion was the more heavy style with more wood,” she told db.

“I was always heading towards the elegance and the freshness. And if you taste our wines you feel it. It’s very important for us to go in that direction, starting with the date of the harvest, not over-macerating, keeping [the must] cool, keeping the wine in oak for shorter time and not only in new barrels, so not to cover the fruit.”

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