Black Castle Wines

Our Vineyard


In 1991, I married Cindy Fodor and shortly thereafter, we began our frequent journeys to Europe, especially Hungary. My father-in-law, John Paul Fodor, immigrated to the United States for political reasons following the Hungarian Revolution in 1956. He was a participant in the brave uprising against the Soviet Union. I quickly became enamored with the Hungarian culture and its people. In particular, I fell in love with the wine culture. I had never seen a more fertile soil coupled with a people so dedicated to it. It was amazing to see and taste the fruits and vegetables produced here. Almost every household has a vegetable garden, fruit trees, and of course, grape vines. Many families make their own wine. Hungary is blessed with abundant sunshine, rich soil, a long growing season, and a hardworking people with a longstanding agricultural history.

My wife and I dreamed of being involved in the romance of winemaking. With each visit, we toured different wine regions and enjoyed the fruits of the winemakers. Eventually, we became more serious about realizing our dream and began inquiring about property. After much research we happened upon a jewel.

In the foothills of the Matra mountain range there was an elderly couple whose son went to work in France. When it was decided that he was not to return, the family removed their old vines and placed the property for sale. The nine acres slope southward from the mountain covered with rich black volcanic soil. It receives abundant sunshine and northerly winds are blocked by the hills. We purchased the property in 2003 and our first grapes were harvested in 2012.

Nyilas Janos, our vintner, has been growing grapes and producing wine in this region for more than thirty years. He, too, has seen the evolution of wine production here and now combines his old world experience with modern machinery and equipment from Italy. The result is a beautiful sophisticated wine. We are producing international varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Cabernet Blanc, and Pinot Gris. We are producing local varieties such as Kekfrankos, Kekoporto, Harslevelu, Furmint, Olaszrizling, Muscat Lunel, and Zweigelt. We are blending the traditional international varieties with the Hungarian varieties to add unique nuances to old standards.

As for the name, Black Castle, my family heritage descends from nearby Vienna, Austria. At that time Hungary and Austria were under one empire ruled by the Hapsburg family. The name Schwartzenburg translates into Black Castle.

The Black Castle image is an artist's rendition of the Swartzenberg Palace in Vienna. After much hard work, time, and effort, our dream has become a reality. We would like to share this dream with family, friends, and all wine lovers. We would like to introduce you to Hungarian wines. Try them. Taste them. Share them. Enjoy!


Edward Schwartzenburg