The interactive Garay Wine Cellar has opened its doors in Szekszárd. The complex, which aims to be a unique tourist attraction and was developed in one of the city’s oldest wine cellars, was realised with some two-hundred million forints (EUR 645,000) in EU funding.

The 780 square metre interactive cellar was officially opened by Kiss Eliza, the Ministry of Agriculture’s Deputy State Secretary for Origin Protection, Fidesz-KDNP MP and Mayor of Szekszárd István Horváth, Deputy Mayor Rezső Ács (Fidesz-KDNP), Managing Director of Szekszárd Asset Management Limited Zoltán Bálint and Chairman of the Szekszárd wine region Zoltán Heimann.

At the press conference that preceded the official opening, Mr. Horváth told the press that Szekszárd local authority had purchased the historic city centre cellar in 2012 at a cost of some one-hundred million forints and received 198 million forints in funding through the New Széchényi Plan, with which they had created an interactive cellar designed to showcase wine-making. Over 220 different wines and spirits produced by 30 Szekszárd vineyards and pálinka distilleries are on offer in the cellar. The goal of the city is to increase public awareness of the region’s wines in a unique way that fits the requirements of the modern age while at the same time respecting traditions.

Project manager Zoltán Bálint from the local government’s asset management company explained that an interactive cellar had been installed in four branches of the 18th century cellar, telling visitors about wine in Hungarian, English and German with the help of various tableaus and infographics, including interactive monitors. The Garay Cellar, which offers wines at prices determined by the individual producers and which also includes a restaurant that sits 70 people, has opened up a new segment of tourism for the city of Szekszárd, he added.

Green energy was applied during the construction of the cellar, which is accessible to the deaf, blind and physically handicapped; the building is heated using geothermal energy and a 1500 cubic metre/hour capacity ventilation system ensures that the air in the cellar is always fresh and healthy.

One of the interesting novelties provided by the cellar, which showcases the region’s wines from the perspective of art, technology and gastronomy, is that visitors will have the opportunity to sample the unique fruity aromas of wines with the help of aroma capsules. The presentation’s “gastro-wheel” helps visitors to decide what foods go best with the various wines produced within the Szekszárd Wine Region, and in addition to the many interactive opportunities visitors to the cellar can experience, they can also try out a sommelier programme.