Ellie and Imre met at a German trade fair in 2014. Ellie was working for a Belgian wine distributor; Imre for an Austrian winery. Neither knew that this chance connection would eventually lead to both a personal and professional partnership. It was in the early stages of their relationship that they discovered an abandoned vineyard in Sumeg, in the Balaton region of Hungary. They seized the opportunity to bring the vines back to life, a decision that resulted in their first HOLASS wine, which they named after the phonetic pronunciation of Imre's last name: Halász. Since then, their portfolio has grown.
They work exclusively with local grapes from historically important Hungarian wine regions, generally with a focus on organic farming. Ellie and Imre also produce wine from Burgenland, which sits on the Austrian-Hungarian border; although officially a part of Austria since 1921, it's widely viewed as a significant region in Hungary's wine heritage. Holass has no winery. Nor do they own vineyards. Instead, their production is based on collaborations with friends and family who practice traditional winemaking techniques.
Their wines are mostly single vineyard bottlings made in small, unique batches, which take their names from geographical indications of their origin - a region, a town, a river. Their aim is to show the kind of wines these places can produce.