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Winemakers Night – Franz Weninger


29.10. Weingut Saalwächter, Rheinhessen, Germany

26.11. Weingut Wachter-Wiesler, Eisenberg, Austria

10.12. Weingut Franz Weninger, Mittelburgenland, Austria



Franz Weninger

Franz Weninger was born in 1979 and grew up at his parents’ winery located in Burgenland. In Horitschon he not only learned the craft of winemaking from his father, but also discovered

his great passion for wine. After completing the Klosterneuburg HBLBA for viticulture and fruit growing, he completed several internships abroad. In 2000 he took over the oenological and organizational

management of the winery in Balf near Sopron. Since 2011 he is also managing the winery in Burgenland.

History of viticulture in Hungary

Franz Weninger’s father grew up about 10 kilometers away from the border of Hungary. During the Cold War this part of the country became a collective evil, but that only increased his father’s curiosity.

When the border opened after the fall of the Berlin Wall in 1989 and travel became much easier, his father jumped in the car and went on a discovery journey.

On his travels through Hungary, his father discovered Villány – a region in the south of the country, located near the Croatian border. To his surprise Cabernet Franc was grown there since 1881. The grapevine

grower Teleki (who owes the rootstock T5C) had once started to import vines from France in addition to rootstock breeding.

So it happened that in 1992 he and Attila Gere, a forester at the time, founded a winery in Villány and started to invest a small fortune. The success was not long in coming and so it happened that in 1997 he boughtfurther vineyards in Sopron. Full of vigor and confidence, he was  the first to plant international varieties such as Syrah in the country. Franz Weninger started to become a shooting star in the Hungarian wine scene and was admired for his engagement. However, as the wine sales soon stalled and nobody really wanted to buy Hungarian wine, the winery faced hard times, because in 2009 wine sales in Hungary almost completely collapsed.However, things changed in 2010 and the international wine world said goodbye to Parker and the natural wine movement finally had its kick off. The customers were suddenly open to new ideas and interested in Hungarian varieties and unknown regions. Franz Weninger wine was listed more and more in the top restaurants around the world and wine became a trend in the wine scene. This also was clearly by the fact that more and more Austrian wines were adorned with Hungarian names.Thankful and happy Franz Weninger looks back to these hard time and says “after every low comes another high and so the economic situation of the winery began to recover after 2015”. Proof of this are the new wines such as the Steiner Furmint and the cross-border wines such as “Rózsa Petsovits” and the “Ponzichter”, which will soon be available on the market”.


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