If you are looking for your next wine experience then you should visit the Kristinus Wine Estate in Hungary located in Kéthely, a small and quiet village on the slopes of the southern shores of the Lake Balaton.
The winery has been producing award winning wines since 2005 and has received numerous international wine, gastronomic and tourism marketing awards. Kristinus Wine Estate belongs to the Balatonboglár Wine Region comprising 37 settlements on the southern shore of the Lake Balaton. The 3200-hectare area boasts both excellent white and red wines.
White varieties include Chardonnay, Irsai Olivér, Királyleányka, Yellow Muscat, Welschriesling, Rhine Riesling, Pinot Gris and Furmint, whereas red varieties include Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Pinot Noir, Blaufrankisch and Cabernet Franc. Kristinus, as an official stop on the Southern Balaton Wine Route, offers excellent Bordeaux style wines.
The wine estate features the award winning Gastro Bistrot restaurant, where wine has the starring role in the menu. “Meals are matched to wines, and not the other way around” underlines Péter Nagy communication specialist at the Urban Communications Ltd responsible for the brand and explains that in this particular restaurant you better not search for the traditional menu because there you get food recommendations for the wines. “We consider food and drink equally important and we give the home field advantage to our wine in that it takes the starring role in our menu,” he said.
The locally sourced premium quality ingredients are key to the unique offering of Kristinus Gastro Bistrot, which uses mostly Somogy County with a distinctive character and unique taste.
Wine pairs excellent with cinema and Kristinus Wine Estate features also the first wine cinema in Hungary and in Europe with comfy armchairs, delicious red, rosé and white wines and grissinis to accompany recent blockbusters. “Vinocino is offering a unique experience for film and wine enthusiasts,” said Peter about the innovative wine experience. The cinema opened in March, 2016 and has already proved a great success thanks to its special theme and the lack of cinemas on the shores of the Balaton.
Our wines provide a journey from Lake Balaton to the glass, wherever that glass may be. Lake Balaton is both deep and shallow, diverse and monochromatic: turquoise. Serious as an autumn storm and graceful as a July sunset. Every moment and every explorer sees it differently. No matter what, it has a distinctive character our wines will duly represent and explorers won’t cease discovering. Technology is man’s best friend when it comes to quality: all you need to reach a compromise between the people who work the vineyard, the climate, the soil and that technology to make goo.
Florian Zaruba, Estate Manager of Kristinus Wine Estate.
Kristinus Vinotel is a ten-room design wine hotel. The hotel o has won the ‘Best wine hotel award 2017‘ of the Best of Budapest & Hungary and aims to accommodate visitors looking to taste the region’s best wines and discover the Southern shores of Lake Balaton. Hotel guests can enjoy winery tours where they can learn about the steps of wine-making, the secrets of reductive and oxidative styles and the world of tannins explaines Péter Nagy adding: “Guests can learn about the stages of wine-making and the secrets of reductive and barrique wines.” In addition, the Kristinus shuttle bus provides transport to neighboring thermal spas, secret canoeing sites of rare natural beauty like the Nagyberekon and nearby special entertainment and sporting programmes.”The winery is pleased to put its ‘Kristinus Bus’ at the disposal of its guests,” said Péter Nagy revealing also a close collaboration with the Balaton Shipping Company. “We work closely together with the Balaton Shipping Company and we are the exclusive wine distributor for all boats on Lake Balaton and the sponsor of the Krisecco Party Boat throughout the summer season. We have several program partners for example Golfklub Imperial Balaton and Balaton Ballooning.”
Here, Nagy shares his top tips on must-see places near the Kristinus Wine Estate.
First of all: The “Hungarian Sea”, Lake Balaton (the largest lake in Central Europe). The southern shores are ideal for families with small children because of the shallow water. Lake Balaton is Hungary’s most popular tourist destination so from spring to autumn it is a very lively place with loads of concerts, programs.
Kéthely, besides the Kristinus Wine Estate, is an exciting tourist destination near the south shores of Lake Balaton. The ten kilometre distance can easily be covered, even by bicycle, therefore an around Balaton bike tour can include a visit at the Winery, accentuated with looking at local sights.
The Neo-Baroque Hunyady castle built in the 17th century, that has seen better days, can only hint at its former elegance. The historic (protected) building served as a hospital and general nursing home until 2006 – even after a significant part of the castle was consumed in the 1986 blaze. Its ten-hectare park is home to a number of rare tree species, among them the white fir or the hackberry.
The Fancsi stronghold is a memento of the fight against the Turks; it was erected by two landlords of the settlement under the Ottoman occupation, mostly using land and pikes in 1541. It repeatedly changed hands between Hungarians and Turks until 1600, when it was finally seized. The settlement has a historic church and a Virgin Mary chapel built by public subscription on Szőlőhegy. If you wish to travel a little farther from Kéthely, the sights of Southern Balaton are worth seeing. Kis-Balaton is only half an hour away by car. The nature trail of Kányavár Island is an exceptional experience for nature buffs, where the landscape of renowned Hungarian writer István Fekete’s novel Tüskevár comes alive.
You can take guided boat trips in Kis-Balaton; the Buffalo Reserve in Kápolnapuszta is a veritable family program. Keszthely is also very close to Kéthely, where you can enjoy the warm and shallow waters during summertime. In contrast, if you are seeking the same experience in a quiet setting, any beach of the villages in the Southern Balaton area will do.
The multi award winning winery is a great destination for the wine enthusiast and connoisseur alike and this year the Wine Estate will host several concerts, festivals, sport programs and cultural events. Balaton is Hungary’s most popular tourist destination. It’s the biggest Lake in Central-Europe and so from spring to autumn it is a very lively place with loads of concerts and programs and thus Péter Nagy suggests: “be prepared for heavy traffic and many tourists in this season.”