As a child I'd much rather get lost in books in the warmth of my room than get up early, do the work in the vineyard or get sticky and really cold at harvests.
I did not protest when my father tried to steer me away from the family's chosen path explaining that I have to find my own way. I went to secondary school specialised in Mathematics then went on studying Economics at the University of Miskolc, taking up organizational leadership as my Major. After graduation I stayed for 3 years to do my PhD and enjoyed team building and teaching the most.
When I was home in Rátka, I happily helped dad out with guests from abroad, holding wine tastings, and writing wine descriptions. By this time I was intoxicated by the wine world and felt my heart was leading me back home, year 2000 saw me as co-founder in the Arvay and Co. Ltd. After spending 8 years in Tokaj, we decided to move back to Rátka and set up our own family business, the Arvay Family Winery in 2008. It was a big step for us, but we have not looked back since!
I am trying to spend as much time in the vineyard as possible to see the growth of each vine, to see how they turn into beautiful clusters of grapes. We love having tastings at my dad's favourite spot, the top of 'Padihegy', as it is so much easier to talk about all the different grape varieties, the volcanic soil and the minerality of our wines at the location.
I have been working together with dad for years, and though sometimes our views differ, we respect each other and it really has been a pleasure working together. His knowledge is so impressive and it is incredible that he has a solution to any rising problem. I contribute to the estate with my experience from California and the knowledge from the Diploma Course of Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), London.
I made my first wine in 2008. It was a light Muscat Lunel (Sárgamuskotály) and I hope there will be lots to follow. My biggest help at the cellar works was my brother, Szabolcs, who did all this after getting up at dawn to spray or plough.
After requests from our friends we started to organize commercial events 2 years ago. First it was the all-important harvest and traditional pig slaughter then a bit of stone collecting trips and our last venture was an adventure tour, naturally including grape and wine. I love watching faces of guests relax and lips curl into smiles. It takes a little while and strangers become friends, and that is not a surprise! Mom cooks up fantastic dishes, be it Hungarian or Swabian, the landscape is beautiful, Tokaj wines are full of volcanic heat and everybody feels the positive energy coming from the rocks.
According to dad there is no depressive or uncompanionable winemaker, through wine we get to know people, make new friends and help each other on our way. This is the basis for 'Junibor', the association of young winemakers, wine growers and winemakers of the future. Our aim is to give professional support to each other to be able to make better wine year after year. We would also like to introduce quality wine to the younger generations. We are planning to build up an intern- and scholarship system and present our association on wine tasting events, festivals and conferences.
Though I spend most of my time in Rátka, I also have duties in Budapest, because I teach in the Hungarian WSET on all levels.
Junibor (Association of Young Winemakers), president (2007-2014)
Tokaj Women and Wine Association
Pannónia Women Wine Order