Winery, wine bar, restaurant, exhibition space and estate – these are the roles of the refurbished Hableány in Badacsony. They finished the reconstruction in June 2019 and opened their new place to the public with a grand ceremony. We take an insider look at this revived icon.
It has always been clear that Hableány would reopen as a major Badacsony landmark. Closed last summer – the Kishableány street-food bistro had operated here until 2017 – it was taken over by the Laposa family winery and is now fully refurbished.
Hableány dates back for nearly a century and a half. Now, after almost two years of renovation, the whole complex has been brought back to life.
The reconfiguration was carried out thanks to an investment of one billion forints. An official opening ceremony attracted many important figures, including Bence Laposa, the manager of the Laposa estate, Dr Zoltán Guller, CEO of the Hungarian Tourism Agency and Badacsonytomaj mayor László N Krisztin.
The building will be the hub of the Laposa Wine Estate, where visitors can follow the process of winemaking, while the wine bar will stock all 20 of the winery’s items available for tasting. The restaurant falls into the bistro genre.
The building's history and architectural heritage were both taken into account during the refurbishment – the 1965 mermaid ('hableány') mosaic by Éva Krumpos on the façade remains intact, for example.
An exhibition of personal and local history has also been placed in the presentation space, recapping the past of the Laposa family as well as the history of the Barabás family, who operate the building.
Hableány also showcases the various steps in winemaking, from the processing of grapes to bottling. The soul of the building is the glass-walled, central tank area visible from the restaurant. The tanks can hold 2,500 hectolitres of wine, while the entire complex can store 4,000 hectolitres. A champagne factory has also been built on the site.
Wooden barrels allow Kéknyelű, Furmint and Juhfark wines to be matured. Capacity is estimated at half a million bottles a year.
An underground area for the maturation process can contain 100,000 bottles, while on the upper level there’s an office overlooking the whole winery, with Badacsony in the background.
Hableány has a rich history: it has been a hotel, a restaurant, an events venue and a store, and locals have many stories about it. The founders of the Laposa estate even held their wedding here.
It has been a part of the hospitality industry since the middle of the 1800s: the site on which the Hableány hotel was built was owned by Zirc resident János Holzeri in 1857. The inn was opened on July 14, 1883 – back then, the place was on the lakeshore. It soon became a community space and the centre of the sailing community. Author Mór Jókai, and even Habsburg Empress Elisabeth, visited the hotel in 1896. There was a time when everything was named after Hableány in the area, including the train station and an entire quarter of the town. A post office once operated in the building, and now visitors can send postcards from Hableány once again.
The place was expanded to twice its size in 1964, based on the plans of architect Ferenc Raáb. The restaurant is exceptionally large, with an expansive terrace. Plans include the building of a 17-room guesthouse above the complex. Hableány has always held a high-profile role in the community, something the owners aim to continue.