Kéthely has recently experienced some major transformation: a truly unique experience center has emerged on the south shore of Lake Balaton. The cinema at Kristinus Wine Estate offers grissini and Irsai Olivér instead of popcorn and coke, the Gastro Workshop serves fine dining delicacies, and the brand new wine hotel provides absolute comfort even to the most abstinent guests.

10 rooms and 500,000 bottles

Kéthely’s scenic Kristinus Wine Estate has been producing premium-category wines since last spring, but the owners have decided to kick things up a notch: they’ve created an establishment that offers a bewildering range of services and amenities to set themselves apart from everyone else in the South Balaton region.

Kristinus has been a premium spot for tasting exquisite wines and first-rate food from the very beginning, but now they’ve also started offering fashionable accommodation at their brand new hotel. Weary guests can stay at any of the ten rooms for a reasonable price (16,000 HUF/room/night). The rooms are identical in terms of size, and all of them are furnished in a clean, natural style.

The interior of the entire complex represents the same trend, showcasing a modern layout, sensibly and professionally designed shapes, and a subtle style incorporating natural wooden surfaces, which fill the high-tech structure with lots of life.

The huge space inside the building complex of Kristinus Wine Estate is undivided for the most part, but the various rooms upstairs – such as the spacious concert chamber and the ripening cellar – are separated by functional glass portals. The concert area can accommodate several hundred people, while the cellar is capable of storing a total of 500,000 bottles of delectable vintages every year.

Irsai instead of coke

Kristinus welcomes patrons all year, and features several extraordinary services, the most unique of them being their on-site Vinocino. At the wine cinema guests can relax in comfy armchairs and nosh on freshly made grissini with two different dips and nice, cool wine while enjoying a variety of entertaining films (click here for show times up to April 23), ranging from Jake Gyllenhaal’s Nightcrawler to wine and gastronomy themed flicks. Everyone can choose whichever wine they like, of course, but seeing as spring’s here, we’d recommend a lighter, fruitier variety like Irsai Olivér or Sauvignon blanc. Those who are interested in the fuller wines of the cellar should sign up for Kristinus’ guided tasting sessions.

Tropical fruits

Anyone who’s familiar with the South Balaton Wine Region will know that local winemakers say acids are friends rather than foes. Regardless of whether we’re talking about reds or whites, most of the area’s vintages are full-bodied and mature. The wines of Kristinus are flavorful and fruity, so they’re perfect for those who aren’t crazy about minerality.

During our visit, we immediately fell in love with the 2015 Rosé, the 2012 SAS Cuvée (Merlot + Cabernet franc + Cabernet sauvignon), and the 2011 Cabernet franc. Not only are all of them delicious on their own, but they also go very well with an assortment of dishes.

Is Kéthely the new Olimpia?

If after the cinema, the grissini, and the wine tasting you still want more, you’ll probably be pleased to hear that Kristinus has also set up an entire Gastro Workshop on the premises. The aim is to conform to more modern gastronomical trends, and serve sous vide duck breast instead of Wiener schnitzel. The cuisine is based on the principles of fine dining, and the team preparing the mouthwatering creations has been put together in accordance with the strictest criteria: the chef has trained at Budapest's renowned Olimpia Restaurant, and the eatery even has its own pâtissier and sommelier.