Pannonhalma Abbey Winery
The Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey is the most notable landmark in Pannonhalma and one of the oldest historical monuments in Hungary. It is located near the town, on top of a hill of almost 300 metres. The Benedictine monks, having settled on the Sacred Hill of Pannonia, have always been closely associated with viticulture and wine making. At the beginning of the 1900s the Archabbey had about 100 hectares of vineyards in the direct vicinity of Pannonhalma and it also had plantations on the Somló Hill and in Tokaj-Hegyalja. Its bottled wines both whites and reds were sold in Hungary as well as abroad far beyond the borders of what was then Greater Hungary.
The political and social upheaval that followed World War II put an end to the centuries-old tradition when the single-party state confiscated the Abbey's vineyard holdings and winery. During the decades that followed, the monks never gave up hopes of reviving the legacy of excellence one day. Finally, it was in 2000 that the plans for rebirth took shape when the Pannonhlama Abbey Winery (known locally and on the label as Pannonhalmi Apátsági Pincészet ) on a floor space of 2000 m2 and with a storage capacity of 3000 hectolitres was established in which the Abbey would control the majority interest in partnership with the MKB Bank as the minority owner.
The facility was designed in close co-operation with Tibor Gál, the internationally famed wine-maker of Eger who oversaw the enological-technical work and was expert consultant of the Winery. Today Pannonhalma Abbey Winery cultivates 42 hectares, and its replanted Guyot-trained grapes are yielding for the first time through the team there led by the ever enthusiastic winemaker Zsolt Liptai. Also, building on the natural waste produced by the vineyard and the lavender plantation, Pannonhalma Abbey has created a biomass power station with which it was able to heat the school located nearby, the Abbey and the winery during the winter. Last year they also opened one of the most stunning restaurants between Vienna and Budapest, 'Viator', just at the foot of the Abbey.