Our wines are matured the traditional way in wooden barrels in our cellars in Pinkafeld, southern Burgenland. Even our simpler wines are given sufficient time to develop to their full potential. Our barrels are used up to eight times after which point, the wood basically only provides oxygen exposure.

However, wood types differ. Every year, Oscar works together with local coopers to develop new barrels that are suitable for providing the best possible conditions for our wines.

The Szemes family only uses new, moderately sized 500 and 300 litre wooden casks. Illa and Oscar aim to produce genuine wines with a complexity that merits attention without overloading. Our goal is to produce elegant, everyday wines that convince from year one. A fruity quality in our wines is of great importance to us, and so the decision was made to refrain from toasting the barrels. The staves of our custom-made casks of French oak are constantly rinsed with water during the bending process, resulting in a finish inside, as light as on the outside.

“Blaufränkisch is an aromatic, fruity, elegant variety. It would be a shame to mask this with notes of coffee, cocoa, vanilla or tannin which are all products of toasting the wood. Wine is just that – wine - and we want to bring out the simplicity and elegance of the Blaufränkish grape. Year for year we adapt and readjust. We are committed to being adventurous and not shying away from trial and error. Unnecessary aeration of the wine which would strip it of aroma, as well as refraining from using sulphur during the whole aging process, both serve to provide our wines with the best possible environment in which to mature. Our careful, old-style approach is gentle with the Blaufränkisch grape.” Oscar Szemes.