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No Escape from Balkan

After a long hiatus, new Balkan wines from Croatia, Slovenia, and Bosnia & Herzegovina are finally here the second week of July. After looking over previous trip photos, putting together a fairly impressive Balkan playlist (currently listening to Dubioza Kolektiv), cooking some homemade Burek, and adding Ajvar to my morning eggs, I started to realize how much I missed these wines. The combination of salty, herby, oxidatively alive and zero to full tannins that both go with seafood sets...

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Introducing Our New Producer Gallay

Jozsef Borbely purchased his first vineyards in 1990 in Nyeklakhaza, in the Bukk appellation, a wine district located in North-Eastern Hungary, right between Eger and Tokaj. The region has been making wines since the 14th century and today, it is awakening thanks to a handful of quality producers like Jozsef Borbely, who are working hard on reviving the region. The winery is named after Jozsef’s mother-in-law Isabella Gallay. The Gallay family owned a winery and vineyards before World...

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Introducing Our New Producer Tornai

In 1945, Endre Tornai, the only survivor of his family, walked home to Hungary from the Russian front. Linka, a girl he fancied from before the war waited for him and they got married at Christmas of the same year. They bought a one acre vineyard on the Somlo hill, and in 1946 they had both their first child and their first harvest. Anna, one of his grandchildren says “my grandfather was in love with the Somlo, and so is my father”. This love made the Tornai family endure, and led them...

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Introducing Our New Producer Oszkár Maurer

After meeting Oszkar Maurer for the first time, my hands were sore from taking so many notes and my head was spinning. Serbia? Tokaj connections? Oldest pre phylloxera Kadarka vines in the world? Origin of Furmint? Far too much to cover in this newsletter, but here’s the pitch along with my hopes that as many people as possible try this limited wine. Oszkar’s Kadarka, planted in 1880 in sand, is from the Sremska region in Northern Serbia, but was historically the Hungarian...

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Meet Turkey’s Visionary Vintner Güler Sabancı

Ancient but challenged, wine culture perseveres in Turkey writes journalist Deborah Parker Wong in SOMM Journal. In her article, she talks to businesswoman and founder of Gulor Winery Guler Sabancı regarding the future of Turkey’s wine business: “[Over the last decade] Turkish consumers have been learning about quality from fine imported wines,” says vintner and philanthropist Guler Sabancı whose Gulor winery in Thrace is sited in the historical center of Turkish wine...

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