Mihály Figula “Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary 2022”

Mihály Figula Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary 2022

In the beginning of December, at the FELIX Kitchen & Bar, the winner of the “Wine Producer of the Year in Hungary 2022” title, the most prestigious domestic award that can be won by Hungarian winemakers, was announced by the Hungarian Wine Academy. The award does not mean recognition of the excellent quality of a wine, but can be awarded for the outstanding performance of the winning wine producer over several years, for the constant, excellent quality of his wines, for their domestic and foreign successes, and for his efforts for the wine industry.

Hungary is a lucky country, in having a lot of great winemakers who supply both domestic and foreign wine lovers with world-class wines. The award could go to many places, but perhaps there is agreement that this year’s winner deserved the award despite his young age.

The great-grandfather, István Tolnay, was one of the most prestigious wine owners of the 19th century. Fueled by his love for grapes and wine, the Figula Winery @ Balatonfüred- Csopak  has become one of the best-known Hungarian wineries with hard work and, of course, sacrifices and great diligence. The winery was founded and built by his father, Mihály Figula, who was also chosen as the Wine Producer of the Year in 2000, the same year that his son, Mihály, obtained his diploma in viticulture and oenology. After his father died suddenly, he became head of the family even though he was in his twenties.  He had to take over the management of the estate from one day to the next. With a huge responsibility on his shoulders and a lot of work and with the family members managed to maintain and develop the thriving winery.

The Figula vineyards are located within a six-kilometer radius of the winery, on a total of 30 hectares, where terroir farming in the classical sense is carried out. Mihály tried to cultivate everything at the highest level, he considers it is important to treat the crops of the vineyards separately, of course with strict yield restrictions. The most important aspect in the production of wines is the highlighting of the characteristics of the place of production, for which, in addition to respecting traditions, the most modern technical and technological possibilities are exploited. In order to achieve the highest quality, the family carries out and supervises all processes, from the care of the grapes to the bottling of the wines.

Mihály Figula asks himself the question every day … “What would my father say about this? Would he be satisfied with the wines?” Most probably many winemaker father cannot be happier and prouder than when his son receives the highest recognition in the profession. Anyone who knows Mihály personally knows that when it comes to wines, he is very serious, and he is a young man blessed with an extraordinary sense of humor. If we asked him what career he was preparing for, he would only say: “As a child I wanted to be a bear, I ended up becoming a winemaker.”. Was asked his favor vintage and the answer was the 1993, of course, because that’s when it all started. This year’s winner is not an average person he believes he works in the best wine region in the world. He became a winemaker when his father said to him his children and wine making is his main hobby. Mihály promise to those who visit his winery that they will become nothing less and nothing more than that everyone forgets the gray weekdays.

Among those competing for the award, the five winemakers who received the most votes during the nomination below were:

Mihály Figula (Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region), Tamás Günzer (Villány wine region), József Lamport (Egri wine region), Zsolt Liptai (Pannonhalmi wine region), Csaba Vestergombi (Szekszárd wine region).

Update by Aggie Reiter

One response to this post.

  1. Posted by Chris Hanlon on 02/01/2023 at 10:43

    Very glad to know he didn’t get his wish and become a bear, just think of all the wine loving people who would have missed out on the opportunity to taste/drink his magnificent creations…..

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