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Balatonfüred, Hungary

Bence Szilágyi is the one-man band behind Grand Vin de Barnag, a small winery located in Barnag, a village next to Lake Balaton in Hungary. Here, he farms rented vineyards of Riesling, Furmint, Kékfrankos (the Hungarian name for Blaufränkisch), Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon organically himself, as well as buying organic grapes from a local farmer. 

Since his first vintage in 2017 — when he made just 400 bottles — he has grown bit by bit every year, now producing 12,000 bottles. No bank loans, no investors: just Bence and bucketloads of passion for farming and making delicious, low intervention wine.


Bence’s father used to make a little bit of wine for fun from the family’s hobby vineyard. Eventually, this was the vineyard that would spark Bence’s fully-fledged career as a winemaker. Initially, however, that first vintage was just for fun; Bence didn’t yet have any grand plans. He remembers; 

“I didn’t always want to be a winemaker, but when I made that barrel of wine, I enjoyed it so much. I made it with friends, and still now I work a lot with friends who come for bottling or harvest — I have a really great bunch of people around me when I work. That first unofficial vintage was in 2017, and then 2018 became the first official vintage. From there, there was no way back! I started to rent vineyards and buy barrels, but I started very small as I wanted to avoid loans and investors. So, it’s been a very slow growing winery, but fun!” 

Before the birth of Grand Vin de Barnag, Bence studied wine at university in Budapest and in the Pfalz, Germany, after which he worked in wine bars in Budapest.

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