10th of January – The birthday of József Törley, the great figure of sparkling wine production in Hungary
When it comes to champagne, Hungary’s favourite is probably Törley. Törley Pezsgőpincészet Kft., following the guidelines laid down by József Törley in 1882, was established on the 3rd of January, 2005. The company is one of the determining participants of the Hungarian beverage market and the distributor of several international brands in Hungary. The founder of the brand, József Törley was born on the 10th of January, 1858.
According to torley.hu, the history of József Törley’s family goes back to the 17th century, when the united Christian troops, led by duke Charles of Lorraine, were fighting the Turks to recapture Buda. After a series of events, József was born as the third son of Bálint Törlei, who fought in the Hungarian War of Independence in 1848-49. His sons broke the family tradition and took up civil occupations.
When studying at the Academy of Trade in Graz, József Törley met Theophilus de Roederer, champagne producer from Reims, who employed him as French-German correspondence clerk. Shortly afterwards, Törley got a job at the company Delbeck & Cie. After becoming very knowledgeable about champagne production, Törley set up his own champagne factory in Reims, the capital of the province of Champagne in France.
In Hungary, József Törley began his activity in Promontor (now Budafok). His company was registered by the Registry Court of Budapest on 1 August 1882 under the name „Törley József és Társa” (József Törley and Co.).
Torley.hu writes that the history of Törley sparkling wines dates back to almost 150 years. Being open to novelties, the Törley factory became one of the most modern sparkling wine factories of Hungary by the turn of the century, and at the Millenary Exhibition it owned the title of Imperial and Royal Court Suppliers. In the subsequent decades, Törley products were introduced throughout the world from Paris through America to Australia, and by 1910 the factory reached an annual production of 2 million bottles. This success was broken by World War II which was followed by a period full of hardship and the revival. Despite all the troubles, Törley has managed to keep its market leader position in Hungary to the present day.
Joining the Bacchus Wine Orders that cherish the world’s vinicultural traditions, in 1987 the world’s first sparkling wine order, the Chevaliers Törley was founded in Budafok in the Törley Sparkling Cellar. The order commemorates József Törley, the great figure of sparkling wine production in Hungary and aims to preserve the century-old traditions associated with his name. The members of the sparkling wine order must meet strict requirements and candidates have to pass tests to demonstrate their knowledge.
If you want to learn more about Törley’s history, visit the Törley Exhibition and Visitors’ Centre that offers special relics and records of the period.
Copy editor: bm