Szomolya is not a place one can say they find themselves often, or ever for that matter. But if you do happen to find yourself in this beautiful land outside of Eger, take pleasure in the fact that you have stumbled upon one of the great hidden gems of the wine world. Here you will find Hegyi-Kaló. Don’t look for a showpiece winery, or even a sign: you won’t find one, this is a home. The Kaló family makes its one-of-a-kind wines in their modest cellar hand carved out of the hillside behind their house.
Hegyi-Kaló produces authentic traditional wines from local varieties, like Leányka, Olaszrizling, Medina, Kékfrankos and Turán. The family estate cultivates the vineyards by historical Hungarian methods, fermenting with native yeast, and aging the wines in barrels for years without any additives or industrial technology. At bottling they never use filtration or fining methods and many of the wines are the contents of a single barrel.
Before our visit to Hegyi-Kaló we thought we knew what “Natural Wine” was, but I must admit the whole idea didn’t really sink in until sitting in that freezing cold cellar tasting wine with the Hegyi-Kalós. It’s still such a vivid memory hearing Júlia and her husband Adám describe their winemaking techniques. I remember thinking to myself “all I know about winemaking says this shouldn’t work, but here it is, not only working, but working beautifully.” To say the wines of Hegyi-Kaló are distinctive would be an understatement! To this day we’ve yet to taste anything like them. They are a rare find in the wine world and one we are so lucky to be able to share. If you are looking for a wine to truly get lost in, grab a bottle of Hegyi-Kaló. You might not always recognize the varietal or be able to categorize what you are tasting, but we promise it will always be delicious and you will never regret it!