Black Castle Wines

About Us


The people behind Black Castle Wines

Edward Schwartzenburg - Edward was born in 1966 in Southwest Louisiana. He is an obstetrician/gynecologist in Baton Rouge. He married Cindy Fodor in 1991 and they have three children: Candice, John Edward, and Joseph. Edward's admiration and appreciation for Hungarian wines developed as he and Cindy began traveling and exploring the Hungarian countryside shortly after their marriage.

Edward and Cindy share a great affection for quality wines. In their early visits to Hungary they witnessed the dramatic turnaround of Hungarian wine culture. In 1989, the Iron Curtain fell and Hungarian vineyards returned to privatization. Prior to this, the state-owned vineyards produced large quantities of mediocre wine. The transition was dramatic and the quality of the wines is now exceptional.

Edward and Cindy wanted to be a part of this great transformation and spread the news of excellent wines from Hungary. They purchased a small vineyard in the Matrallja mountain region in 2003. Their vineyard's first grapes were harvested in 2012 with an expected bottling for 2014. Not wanting to delay the introduction of Hungarian wines, Edward befriended many winemakers and decided to begin importing from these vineyards under his label, Black Castle Wines. "I know that you will enjoy these wines. I hope that they can be a part of your celebrations with food, family, and friends. For this is what life is about!" -Edward


John Paul Fodor - John Paul Fodor was born in 1934 in a small Hungarian farm village called Visznek. He achieved his formal education in the capital city of Budapest. His Civil Engineer training was interrupted in October 1956 when he participated in the Hungarian Revolution against the Soviet Union. This brave uprising against the communist regime was successful for a short while then quashed by a massive tank assault onto the capital. As a major participant in the uprising, John was forced to flee by foot, initially to Austria then to Washington D.C. He completed his Civil Engineering degree in Kansas where he met his wife. In 1960 he married Carmen Martinez who was attending college in Kansas as an international student from El Salvador, Central America. They have two adult children, Candy Fodor Be, an attorney, and Cynthia Fodor Schwartzenburg, an anesthesiologist.

John's love for his country is deep and obvious. He speaks fondly of his youth here, the culture, the food and especially the wine. He is now an enthusiastic participant in the peaceful Hungarian Wine Revolution. As our Hungarian Liaison, his knowledge of the regions and their wines is remarkable. 


Meszaros Pal - The Szekksard wine growing region is one of the oldest in Hungary, its history goes back to more than two millennia. It is best known for bold well balanced red wines. The land features a soft hilly landscape, excellent soil, and a very special micro-climate. The recognition is based upon the unique wines mastered here by blending ancient traditions with modern wine-making art.

The Meszaros Winery offers several varieties of the red wines. Viticulture and oenology are transmitted in the Meszaros family, as a precious heritage, from father to son. The familiar winery ranks today among the best of the region, with a wine growing territory of more than 30 hectares. Fermentation is performed in closed system, in stainless steel tanks, under continuous laboratory surveillance.

For ageing, however, the traditional wooden casks are used. Ageing is performed in the ancient caves drilled deep into the loess. These caves, with their constant temperature and optimal micro-climate, ensure the best possible conditions to have only perfectly aged wines when one fills them into bottles.

This region is famous for red wines which is why the Meszaros family produces the Black Castle Cabernet Sauvignon, Bull's Blood Bikaver, Cuvee, Merlot, and Pinot Noir.


Szk Mtys - The Szoke Matyas family vineyard has become synonymous with the Matrallja Region which has been producing wines since the 11 century. Working with his sons and family, he is the largest producer in the region. Born in 1942, Szoke was a machinist by trade and turned his skills to wine making in the 1970's. In Budapest alone, his products are served in more than one hundred restaurants. The Szoke wines are also well known abroad. Szoke's white wines are also ambassadors of the Matrallja region as they are served in countless Hungarian Embassies worldwide. The winery's modern technology and the widely recognized reliability of the wines have contributed to growing export figures. The winery's success also is due to the grower's sheer good taste and commitment to the vines. His products are aged in oak barrels but do not develop an over oaked taste. His beautiful underground cellar keeps the wines at perfect temperature while aging. We are importing the Black Castle Chardonnay, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, merlot, Meritage, Pinot Grigio, and Gruner Vetliner from this fine vineyard.