Paul StJohn Mackintosh

Writing * Poetry * Dark Fiction * Weird * Fantastic * Horror * Fantasy * Science Fiction * Literature

The wine caves of Kesztölc

Courtesy of our good friend Csziszi, the saxophonist of Tátrai Band, I just took a drive west of Piliscsaba to the little wine village of Kesztölc, nestling under the eaves of the Pilis Hills. Its lanes are lined with huddled plaster cottages, and every so often, wine caves, entrances to cellars, windowless or with narrow loopholes either side of their low arched doors, ivy or vines crawling over their stonework.

The whole village is devoted to wine. Grapes grow in the roadside verges, beside the ditches and flowers. Small restaurants and wine shops, their gardens shaded by trellises, are everywhere. All the greenery gives the village a feeling of freshness even under the full glare of the Hungarian sun on a summer afternoon. And above are the bare chalky flanks of the Pilis Hills, whose limey soil nurtures the grapes and gives the local wines their flavour.

It was a beautiful afternoon. The sun was shining, the breeze was fresh, Diana was asleep on the front seat between us. Heaven. I came home buzzed with far more than just sunshine and wine.