Attila Fiáth, the Jury Chairman, has a degree in economics. He is a professor at Corvinus University in Budapest and an international wine academician. In his opinion, the Balaton Wine Competition is more than a competition; it is an opportunity and an important forum for meetings of winemakers.
What makes this competition special, he points out, is that wines come from all six sub-regions - Balatonfüred-Csopak, Balaton-Highlands, Badacsony, Nagy-Somló, Zala and Balatonboglár -, clearly demonstrating how colourful and multi-faceted the Lake Balaton region is.
- he explains.
The judges assessed the wines in the competition according to the classic 100-point system. The tasting was "half-blind", i.e., the judges only knew what type of wine they were tasting but had no further information on the samples. The seven judges ranked the wines according to the scores of the different varieties. Where the results did not produce a clear winner, a so-called "super jury" passed judgement on the finalists in question, again "half-blind" in a second round.
- he says.
He also pointed out that there were very few entrants of the exceptional local varieties such as Juhfark, Furmint and Kéknyelű, the high-quality wines produced in limited quantities. He felt this was a shortcoming, and due to the low number of entries, there was no chance of judging them.
Attila has a very favourable opinion of the Balaton wine region and highlights its climatic conditions as a notable advantage: the soil structure of the north shore favours mineralised, more serious white wines, while the south coast produces lighter, fruitier reds.
Attila says he has many personal ties to Lake Balaton. It is the wine region where he is most active these days. As a child, he spent almost all his summers by Lake Balaton at his grandparents' summer house in Balatonlelle, and to this day, the lake is an integral part of his life. He regularly commutes between Balaton and the capital. As a wine academician, he often participates in the region's competitions, tastings, and wine shows. As a professional mentor of the Balatoni Kör (Balaton Circle), he plays a considerable role in deciding which wines are stamped with the BalatonBor (BalatonWine) label each year.
Attila often refers to himself as a "wine stylist". Should he have to describe the Balaton wine region in a few words, he would highlight the light and likeable style.