In the past few months we had the chance to taste several different wines and to meet a lot of wine makers from Badacsony to Somogy. Our latest story is about Tamás Trombitás a fan of concrete, who is about to open Káli Medencei Borok Háza (House of the Wines of Káli Basin) in Köveskál.
Wine makers and regular wine consumers both contribute a lot to making the whole wine-circus appear to be an incomprehensible mystery, or even an orbital humbug to outsiders, where people make esoteric statements as an effect of having had a sip of the liquid they slosh around in their glasses. A few visits to the wine makers of Balaton could be a great beginning to breake this illusion. Two important discoveries will come to you quickly: it is easy to describe differences between some poor wine and any quality wine even without knowing the terms of wine snobs; and wine makers are not transcendent creatures who cannot stop talking about tannins. What is more, they are mostly cool misfits.
Géza Légli was born on the South Shore of Lake Balaton, and he used to hate viticulture as a child. Since then he has founded his own winery (Kislaki Bormanufaktúra - Wine Manufacture), and when you meet him you automatically want to drink with him from dusk till dawn. Gyula Szabó's case is quite similar: when he was a kid he hated to deal with grapes, but after having been a party animal in Budapest folowed by a few years spent as CEO of a sports clothing company, he returned to the Káli Basin to start a family and a wine making business, Káli Kövek. András Dobai, the former MC of the electro band Brains was labelled a lunatic, when he left Budapest and started to run a wine bistro in Balatonfüred. István Jásdi didn't seem the slighest bit saner, when he left his successful real estate business in order to found Jásdi pince (Jásdi Winery).
The next misfit on our list is the adventurer, artist and wine maker Tamás Trombitás (owner of Trombitás Borház) from Szentbékkálla. Apart from wines, Trombitás is at home in the world of abstract geometrics, metal- sculptures and installations, and simplified letters. As a result of this, he has loads of gigantic metal and wooden letters lying around in the backyard of his self-renovated house. He has no time for them, because he fell in love with wine making, but at least he designs his own labels.
His latest project Mi a kő - Káli Medencei Borok Háza is a kind of an installation, too. It is a bit different though, because he is turning a 200 year-old inn, which was used as an off-licence (selling cheap wine) for th last few decades, into a modern restaurant. It will sell quality wines at a huge concrete counter, and its concrete floor tiles will have mosaic inserts. Tamás decided to open Mi a kő in the first place because he couldn't get a proper cup of coffee in the area.