2 X GYÖRGY LŐRINCZ = ST. ANDREA - Truly worthy

György Lőrincz. 23-years-old. He originally wanted to be a professional football player. He became a winemaker and a Greek Catholic lector. György Lőrincz. 47-years-old. He originally wanted to be a professional water polo player. He became a winemaker and a Greek Catholic catechist. We talked to them at the end of October in Egerszalók about wine, Eger, family and malolactic fermentation, accompanied by a bottle of Örökké and one of Valóban Méltó.

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Gyuri, how did you become a grape grower cum winemaker?

György Lőrincz, jnr.: It’s an exciting story. Ever since I was a child I wanted to be a professional football player, and for that I lived away from home from the age of 14. I attended secondary school in Debrecen and played for DVSC. I also wanted to be a dentist, a lawyer and an economist. Then, by divine intervention, I eventually became a grape grower-winemaker. I’m proud of my father and as the first child, it seems almost obligatory to continue the family business. In the end, it wasn’t a question of what path I would choose but I needed a bit of prompting from above.


Have you ever regretted it?

György Lőrincz, jnr.: Never. I love it. I’m being handed increasingly serious tasks by my father and I’ve already made some of my own wine.

György Lőrincz: In fact, he spends more time in the vineyard with our grape workers than I do. At the same time – and thank God for that – he’s acquired more knowledge about grape growing, as he’s studied and experienced more about it. Of course, working together is a big lesson for both father and son, even though I long for drinking my son’s wine under the chestnut tree while painting icons.


What inspires you the most?

György Lőrincz, jnr: I had the opportunity to gain experience in some very serious places. I worked in Tokaj with István Szepsy, as well as at the Szent Tamás estate with István Szepsy jnr. and István Balassa. It was an amazing experience. For four weeks I took part in the work of Austrian organic estate Sepp Moser and the latest was when I harvested at the Saint Clair estate in New Zealand. Now, I would like to learn from the Hungarian winemaker I regard as one of the best, here at St. Andrea. What inspires me is to make with my father such worthy wine, which can glorify the Eger wine region, Hungarian wine and the Lord.


What can one learn in New-Zealand?

György Lőrincz, jnr: Awareness, cleanliness and precision. They pay attention to everything from the grapes to the glass. We also strive to do everything to the best of our knowledge in order to achieve and maintain excellence in terms of quality. We even use better quality corks. We’ve changed the majority of our barrels to new ones. We’ve carved out new branches in the cellar that are nicely ventilated. Soon we’ll appear on the market with our own new bottles.

György Lőrincz: The more knowledge we get from the world of wine, from renowned winemakers, the stronger we will become. There are lots of questions on our own estate as well, and now there are already two of us trying to evaluate the experiences. It’s important to find the way for all grape varieties, so that we’re able to understand how we should react to the signals of the grapes.


The new barrels?

György Lőrincz, jnr: This year we bought new barrels from Gábor Kalina and Kádár Kft. They are all medium and heavy toasted, we don’t put anything into lightly toasted ones because the primary oak notes would then be stronger in them. Indeed, in this vintage there is no reason to use these. We feel that the sweeter notes of the barrel in the background suit the “more unruly” Eger wines very well.


What’s your take on the Örökké now?

György Lőrincz: I like it a lot. It’s an Eger Grand Superior wine. It has deep character and is a flavoursome, lively, tight and extremely complex wine with exciting fruit and subtle minerality. It’s beautiful in terms of its appearance, it has subtle oak, while its 1-2 grams of residual sugar and the warm flavours typical of 2012, along with its zesty acids, make it outstandingly elegant.


And the Valóban Méltó ("Truly Worthy”) from 2011?

György Lőrincz, jnr: It came from the slate, limestone, tuff and partly clay soil of Kis-Eged-hegy and its complexity comes through in the wine as well. We only pressed two barrels out of it. It has a spicy nose and is earthy, fruity and elegant.