Ruppert Winery – Beyond the rabbit

Re-planning. That’s the first thing that sprang to mind when we stood on the Diósviszló hilltop next to the smiling Kata, Ákos and Andris, plus the new GAZ tractor arrival. Perhaps subconsciously, because we’d heard the word ‘re-planning’ so many times from the Sat Nav before we arrived in the westernmost corner of the Villány wine region, but more likely – even though we’ve been working with them for years – it seemed like we were at a new winery. It requires courage to constantly learn and redefine your approach, and the Rupperts have managed to do this perfectly. The processing area of the winery, which uses the necessary and adequate, but also the most proficient technology, has shrunk to one-quarter of its original size, and the perfect Diósviszló vineyards and wines are as if we are getting to know a new estate. They are frisky, just like the rabbit on the new label. This is a small winery, currently with only five hectares of vines, and it’s a real family enterprise.  


Ákos: We came from Pécs. My father bought the last house in the village of Babarcszőlős, then the first plots in Diósviszló. Our first wine was bottled in 2006 and since then everything has been about learning and developing. I tried to restructure the winery so that everything comes in perfectly handy and the required technology can serve all our demands.


Diósviszló character

Katus: we arrived in Diósviszló and we truly became Viszló winemakers with our wines. We don’t want to copy Villány, because even though we have a lot to thank it for, we are trying to define the Diósviszló character, along with some young winemakers. We have very strong soil here and perfectly situated and beautiful vineyards, which are in great locations.

Ákos: We work on rested soil, with thoughtfully planted vines which are in good condition. There isn’t any fatigue in the soil and grapes hadn’t been grown for ages on most of our parcels. This might be one of the reasons that healthy, fruity and distinctive wines with good ageing potential are created here.


He wouldn’t even come home from the vineyard

Katus: I believe that Ákos wouldn’t even come home from the vineyard if he didn’t have to. When we started, we had some experiences. We wanted to do it in a big way and do it boldly. We tried a lot of things out on our vineyards, but luckily grapes are strong plants and can put up with a lot, so they survived us as well. I feel we became truly professional in grape growing in 2013. Ákos is out in the vineyards day and night, especially since we have the GAZ. I can see it now that when we get old, we will have to move up to the hill and into a press house.


Three dots on the target

András: It’s my brother Ákos, his wife Katus, and me. We are the three dots on the target on the label. There are also two other people, Gyula and Józsi, who help us in the cellar and in the vineyards, but we have to keep an eye on everything. Ákos ponders over a lot and he makes the final decisions, then we translate them together into everyday work. We aim for the least possible – but most necessary – vinicultural and viticultural interventions. If you know your plots, if you know your vines as much as Ákos does, then even this minimal intervention leads in the same direction. If you make a mistake somewhere, correcting it will show later in the wine.


Mature, full, fruity and pure

Ákos: The direction can be described in very simple terms. We want to make wines that are mature, full, fruity and pure. Perfect fermentation, long ageing on the lees with every wine. We tried to do it with spontaneous fermentation but now we rather inoculate every wine. We seek well fermenting yeast that provides natural flavours. Savvy and presence, the control of every process is really important. We are prepared to believe any silly little thing when it comes to wine, but we’d rather learn from those who have the knowledge. We only integrate the ideas that we consider to be good. We are heading in the direction of naturalness but we are not scurrying like a rabbit. Now, we are building everything up step-by-step, very conscientiously.