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A slice of Switzerland near Csobánc – Villa Tolnay

Run by winemaker László Nagy near Csobánc, behind Badacsony, bucolic Villa Tolnay suits couples who want to switch off completely: here they can enjoy the undisturbed tranquillity of wine tastings, long walks in the vineyards and romantic dinners paired with a view of the whole Tapolcai-medence.

When describing what makes Villa Tolnay’s location special, Nagy says, “Balaton is close yet the shore is further away, while there’s a beautiful view of the entire Tapolcai-medence”. The Villa Tolnay winemaker knows every inch of this 200-hectare estate, including the inn and the house with guestrooms. The same goes for the area as well, since he grew up around here. His Villa Tolnay wines gained a name not only in the Balaton region, but also in German-speaking lands where they can be found in the kitchens of quality restaurants. 

Walking across the estate, he talks about how his grandfather escaped first from Russian, then from German captivity, and it’s not hard to see where Nagy got his stubborn determination to make Villa Tolnay and the region succeed.

A family affair in the kitchen

László Nagy has been working on the holiday estate of actress Klári Tolnay since 2007. The renowned performer loved to spend her free days here even during World War II. The Swiss owner, Philipp Oser,, invited László to make the kind of wines they like on Balaton’s shores. The winemaker also worked for Sabar Winery for a while but the Csobánc estate required too more energy, so he had to make a decision. 

The Swiss-German influence suits Villa Tolnay – walking around the estate or the rooms of the guesthouse, everything is in perfect order and Nagy exudes the same precision when he talks about wines.

He and his family manage the winery and the guesthouse as well. The Villa offers wine dinners upon prior request. Bea, László’s wife, manages the kitchen, with the help of Nagy’s sister. The couple used to live above the Villa but they since moved to Badacsonytomaj. With a baby on the way, the kitchen will be soon taken over by Philipp’s wife.

The guesthouse mostly welcomes couples without children. “We want those who come here to be able to really unwind, to have a multi-course wine dinner, and then rest in the rooms upstairs without anything to disturb their peace,” said Nagy.

During opening hours, anyone can stop by for classic wine tasting on the villa terrace. Tolnay’s selection emphasises the terroir yet they can be surprising, too. The items mostly include Riesling, Olaszrizling, Grüner Veltliner and Furmint, and the blind tastings prove that Nagy can trick even the best connoisseurs.

The future is under construction 

The road to where Villa Tolnay is now has been long but it’s still not the end. A bottling plant is under construction next to the guesthouse – this will open new possibilities for the winery.

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