The Tibor Szemes (pronounced Zemesh) Winery has been strongly affiliated to Austria´s most renowned wine-growers cooperative, the Union of Horitschon Wine-Growers in central Burgenland, since 1985. Tibor Szemes, a man with a vision and worldwide contacts, and of charismatic personality had noticed the outstanding terrior and thus the quality of the grapes from Horitschon and took the first step towards becoming a négociant éleveur. (In France wine dealers that make wine from bought in grapes or grape juice (fermented or unfermented) without themselves owning vineyards, are known by this name.)
Tibor Szemes, a pioneer with manifold talents recognised the Horitschon wine growers´ potential and as a great patron of the area began his quest to find a way to market their wines in a modern world.
He was able to inspire the grape farmers´ confidence , many of whom were still producing wine sold from the barrel using antiquated production methods. He convinced them of his expectations for wine quality and sales. The unbelievable potential of Horitschon was implemented in an accomplished and saleable way and Tibor Szemes, the négociant éleveur was born.
Wine growers under contract grow the grapes and are paid according to quality and quantity. Vinification takes place in Horitschon, though final production and blending take place in the Szemes cellars in Pinkafeld.
This working together as partners is reflected in the wine. The winery Tibor and Illa Szemes produces its own brands of Blaufränkisch IMPERIAL and TRADITION. For the first time in 2010 they produced and marketed a single species Zweigelt, simply called ZWEIGELT KLASSIK.
After the sudden death of her husband on March 10th 2001, overnight Illa Szemes became the négociant éleveur of the TIBOR & ILLA SZEMES Winery in Pinkafeld. The feisty widow of this Austrian red wine pioneer and the mother of two children (Anna and Oscar) took over the business in 2001. Illa has been successful in filling the gap that her husband left behind. She has continued the business with ambition, commitment and with an understanding for "her" Blaufränkisch and so it is no coincidence that her IMPERIAL and TRADITION Blaufränkisch wines are among the top red wines of Austria.