Six of the best terroir-focused Villány wineries

3. Sauska

Screen Shot 2017-01-16 at 15.51.46In 1999 Christian Sauska, a rags-to-riches entrepreneur who made a fortune in engineering business in California, set out to establish a winery in his homeland. In 2000 he converted a historic building in Tokaj into a production facility and tasting room. This was joined in 2006 by a new winery in Villány. Red varieties are grown in Villány, whites in Tokaj.

You get the impression that Sauska is seen as something of an interloper in Villány by the hard core of winemakers who have built up the region’s name since the fall of communism. Not that that matters from a wine perspective. Sauska has wasted no time in establishing a forward-thinking business very much geared towards the international market. With a gravity-fed winery, uncompromising grape selection and wild yeast fermentation the norm, all Sauska wines are characterised by precision, typicity and elegance.

Slick, minimalist labelling, a super-clean, state-of-the-art winery (where they use special lamps made by Christian Sauska’s bluechip lighting company, Light Sources, to clean their barrels) and, crucially, a very engaged, young, largely homegrown winemaking team for whom innovation in technology and experimentation in winemaking are of paramount importance (eg, experiments with amphorae-style vessels for fermentation and ageing of fruity varieties such as Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Portugeiser) – these things mark Sauska out as one of the most dynamic wineries in the region.

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