Importer of Memorable Wines from the New Old World of Eastern and Central Europe
Importer of Memorable Wines from the New Old World of Eastern and Central Europe

Maurer, Szabadka and Fruška Gora, Serbia

We aspire to be as natural and authentic as possible in the production of grape and wine, and the wines born in this spirit tell a lot about their production site, yet every drop of wine contains our family’s history, and the last 3000 years.” — Oszkár Maurer

Winery map

At a Glance

Szabadka and Fruška Gora
Sand, volcanic and sedimentary rocks
90m to 270m above sea level
Sandy hills and also steep slopes facing the Danube
Mézes Fehér, Bakator, Kövidinka, Szerémi Zöld, Rhine Riesling, Tamjanika, Olaszrizling, Slankamenka, Hamburg Muscat, Ezerjó, Vadfekete, Furmint, Kadarka, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kékfrankos
15 hectares
Oszkár Maurer
Oszkár Maurer

The people

When we first visited Oszkár Maurer in 2015, we had to meet just over the border in Hungary at a restaurant because our rental car wouldn’t allow us to enter Serbia. Insert politics here. He only had a few wines to show and it was more about what’s to come than what he had at that moment. Since then we’ve visited multiple times, walked through his Kadarka planted in 1880 among many other incredible vineyards from the turn of the century, and his wife Irene has cooked some of the best food on any of our trips.

We’ve also witnessed his plans from 2015 come to life. Plans like expanding his production into the Fruška Gora, opening a tasting room/restaurant, and redefining what many of these nearly forgotten grapes taste like. Despite all the new things, he’s always keeping a close eye on the traditions of both his grandparents and the region's 2000+ years of documented winemaking history.

Eric and Oszkár holding a piece of the 1880 Kadarka

Five years later he has more SKUs than we can count, experiments abound, and every single core wine is better. Where before all his labels were the same, now many of his labels feature the art of children from his village (ie Kövidinka) and or reflect his fascination with the cosmos (ie Orion). His aesthetic and philosophy are starting to permeate everything above and beyond the vineyards and cellar.

The Maurer family has been producing wine for four generations. It was during the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in the 19th century that they moved from Salzburg to the southern part of the Kingdom of Hungary. They now farm 15 acres of land. 6 hectares in the Serbian wine region of Szabadka directly south of the Hungarian-Serbian border, and another 10 acres in the Fruška Gora mountain district in Syrmia, Serbia, located 40 miles away from Belgrade and bordered by the Danube River to the north.

For many years, Oszkár has also been helping other regional winemakers get their productions off of the ground in terms of mentorship, using equipment, storage and ultimately fostering a larger community of like-minded people to do something special.



Technically Maurer is in the Subotičko – Horgoškoj region in northern Serbia, but it was formerly a part of Hungary’s Csongrád up until 1920. The population is mostly Hungarian and viticulture knows no borders, the grapes see no line in the sand. Names of grapes and places are therefore constantly changing from Serbian to Hungarian and vice-versa. Everything should be considered interchangeable and fluid. Oszkár farms about 6 hectares here including the oldest known Kadarka vineyard in the world planted in 1880 in addition to other plantings in 1912 and older plots of Kövidinka from 1925. The rest of the plantings include grapes like Olaszrizling, Slankamenka, Ezerjó, Kadarka and Kékfrankos. There’s also a smattering of international varieties including Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir as well.

Old Kadarka vine

Oszkár also has 9 hectares in the Srem region a little further south. Hungarians called this area Szerém, the Croatians Srijem (part of it still spills into Croatia), and long before that the Romans called it Syrmia. The Roman Emperor Probus was born here and devoted a lot of his time to growing grapes. Illyrians and Celts lived here as well. The main feature, apart from the Danube River, is the Fruška Gora Mountain. Once an island in the Pannonian Sea, the soil is volcanic with a marine layer. Some call it the “holy mountain” or “Serbian Athos” because at one point there were over 30 monasteries of which 16 still stand today. It’s also the first national park in Serbia. Needless to say, there is something special about this place and winegrowing is documented back to the 1200s.

Painting in broad strokes, the Subotičko is largely defined by sandy soils and old vines, and the Szerémség by volcanic soils heavily influenced by the Danube River. Everything is farmed organically with zero absorbable chemicals. High density stake trained vines are the most typical and cover crops are natural. Everything is worked by hand or with the help of horses. Harvest is managed with local labor and the help of family and friends.

In the cellar


Everything is handpicked in small bins and all fermentations are spontaneous (primary and secondary). The use of older oak, small and large format is paramount. There are no additives to any of the wines apart from SO2 at bottling for select wines. Maurer basically has two tiers: Rege and Maurer. The Rege wines have low SO2 (25-40ppm) and the Maurer line is zero compromise with zero additions of any kind. Wines are typically only racked once before bottling and everything is bottled unfiltered.


White Wine , Organic
Mézes Fehér; Bakator; Furmint; Olaszrizling; Muscat à petit Grain;
1 g/l
5.34 g/l
Extremely limited for good reason, this was one of those we have to have these moments in the cellar. It’s essentially three different fermentations using only the best of the best fruit spanning a few vintages. The foundation of the mother barrel is Grašac from 2019 blended with some Bakator from 2020. This was the first fermentation. Late harvest Furmint and Mézes Fehér were added to start the second fermentation in 2020. The third fermentation was started with must from Tamjanika in 2021. Everything was then aged in 500L until being bottled unfined and unfiltered by gravity. The triple extraction, botrytis, spice, incense heavy aromatics and acidic drive are all balanced by built in oxidative notes and grip. The energy of this wine is uncanny and both stand out from the rest of Oszkár’s lineup while immediately being a Maurer wine at the same time.

MaurerBlaufrankisch 2020
Red Wine , Organic
0.5 g/l
5.92 g/l
This is a rare bit of something extra. Normally all of the Blaufrankisch goes into the Crazy Lud Red. This vintage was so healthy and productive that there was little leftover that didn’t make the final blend. Sourced from vineyards in the Fruška Gora, this was open vat fermented with 12 days of skin contact followed by 12 months in smaller format oak barrels. Apart from a variety of Kadarka and the Crazy Lud Red, there isn’t much red to go around. It’s also a grape that can be readily found in Austria, Hungary, Slovenia, and even in Slovakia and Croatia. This is a rare opportunity both in this being available and in the limited amount we have to see Oszkár’s handling of it.

MaurerCrazy Lud Red 2021
Red Wine , Organic
Kékfrankos; Cabernet Sauvignon; Kadarka;
0.55 g/l
5.27 g/l
“Lud” means Goose in Hungarian and Crazy in Serbian. There’s an old Hungarian expression, “Ha lúd, legyen kövér!” that literally translates to “If it’s a goose, let it be fat.” In other words, if you’re going to go big, go big in all respects. 2021 was mostly Kadarka, Kékfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon, and a splash of Hamburg Muscat (crossing of Schiava and Muscat of Alexandria) into the mix. Macerated in open vats for 2-6 days on the skins and then barreled down to 250L-500L oak barrels for 7 months, it’s squarely in the chilled red category, but not in the carbonic or purely whole cluster kind of way. The short maceration keeps the muscat aromatics fresh, but there’s still enough grip from the Cabernet, meatiness from the Kékfrankos and elegance from the Kadarka. Bottled unfined and unfiltered by gravity with zero additions.

MaurerCrazy Lud White 2022
White Wine , Organic
Olaszrizling; Bakator; Slankamenka; Szerémi Zöld; Muscat à petit Grain;
0.5 g/l
5.34 g/l
“Lud” means Goose in Hungarian and Crazy in Serbian. There’s an old Hungarian expression, “Ha lúd, legyen kövér!” that literally translates to “If it’s a goose, let it be fat.” In other words, if you’re going to go big, go big in all respects. This pretty much sums up this wine. This is a mixed field blend with 1-2 days of maceration and relatively short 6 months of aging in tank. It’s a table in the best possible use of that term. The Grašac is the foundation, the Bakator and Slánkamenka add texture and weight, the Szeremi Zöld acidity and aromatics and the Tamjanika drives home said aromatics. Picked ripe at 10.5% alcohol, it’s a celebration of local grapes done in a way that everyone can enjoy and afford to drink everyday. Bottled unfined and unfiltered by gravity with zero additions.

MaurerFodor Olaszrizling 2021
White Wine , Organic
Olaszrizling; Muscat à petit Grain;
0.83 g/l
6.54 g/l
This 57-year-old and small berry clone bush-trained 1 hectare vineyard was Oszkár’s great-grandmother’s dowry. The vineyard borders the Szelevényi nature reserve by only a 3 meter wide road. The wildlife and cover crops nearly mimic the forest. Oszkár also remembers his grandfather saying that Olaszrizling needs time with the skins in order to survive. Back then, there were no additions to the wines and Oszkár is keeping with both traditions. 7 days on the skins followed by 12 months in a 1340 liter barrel. He’s also fond of describing this wine as grease and motor oil for the soul even though he prefers only man and horse in the vineyard. Wine from Fodor encapsulates the farming and the cellar from these older generations and has great significance to Oszkár. Bottled unfiltered by gravity with zero additions.

MaurerKadarka 2021
Red Wine , Organic
0.56 g/l
6.27 g/l
This is the grape that brought us down into Serbia in the first place. The parent grapes are thought to be Papazkarasi originating from the border between Bulgaria and Turkey and Skardarsko which is native to the border area between Albania and Montenegro. Ottoman wars pushed Kadarka up into the Hungarian Kingdom and spread into modern Romania, Slovakia, and Croatia. At one point it made up around 60% of all red plantings but fell to below 1% by the end of Communism due to it not being fit for industrial farming. Oszkár and a handful of other growers like Heimann & Fiai, Bott Frigyes, Grál, Vaskapu, Sziegl, and others are bringing it back to life along with dozens of other pre-phylloxera clones. Maurer’s version is a benchmark for us. It’s essentially the youngest vines from years of massale selections from plantations dating from 1880-1912. Bush trained, very low yields (.5 kg), a touch of botrytis (which he embraces), destemmed, open vat fermented, two punchdowns a day, and then barreled down to 350 L used Hungarian oak for 12 months. Unfined, unfiltered, and with a small addition of SO2 (25ppm) at bottling.

MaurerKadarka 1880 2021
Red Wine , Organic
0.5 g/l
0.73 g/l
The 1880 vineyard is the oldest known vineyard of Kadarka in the world. Planted in Pannonian sand, bush trained, and surrounded by fruit trees, they look like old hands reaching out of quicksand. Only farmed by hand and horse. Similar to the 1912 planting, this site has undergone generations of massale selection that has resulted in very thick skins which is rare for Kadarka. According to Oszkár, it needs to be constantly tweaked and worked on like a high performance race car. There’s also a little Vadfekete in the vineyard (botrytis resistant and dark berry) as well. Fermented with native yeast in open vat, barreled down to old Hungarian oak, and bottled unfined and unfiltered. This wine has an intense concentration of flavor and advanced texture for its age. This is markedly more expensive, but only made in select vintages and is the pride and joy of the estate.

MaurerKadarka Gravitation 2021
Red Wine , Organic
0.66 g/l
7.21 g/l
As we were walking along the streets of Sremski Karlovci, Oszkár told us that it pains him that there’s “so much history but so little identity” here at the moment. This was a village that once boasted over 500 cellars devoted entirely to local sorts, notably Kadarka, and now there are barely 27 cellars showcasing 95% international grapes. He even noted a few of these beautifully ornate protruding windows designed to highlight how many barrels were for sale by hanging a correlating number of grape clusters. This wine is a sine qua non for what’s been forgotten in this area. Largely sourced from the 1st class Nagy-Krisztus vineyard with a little from Krisztus, this is hyper concentration 250 grams per vine botrytis afflicted Kadarka. Picked nearly overripe, it then spends 2 weeks on the skins followed by a year in barrel. Bottled unfiltered by gravity with zero additions. Oszkár is a firm believer that 90% of harmful oxidation in sulfur free wines is caused during bottling. So while gravity and filling with small hoses is 4 times slower and more labor intensive, it’s worth it. Only 2 barrels were made of this wine, so while it’s limited and expensive, this is Oszkár’s favorite Kadarka from the vintage.

MaurerKadarka Petnat 2022
Sparkling Wine , Organic
10.4 g/l
7.1 g/l

MaurerKadarka Rock&Roll 2021
Red Wine , Organic
0.5 g/l
7.85 g/l
We visited this part of the Krisztus Vineyard in April 2022. I thought we were passing through some older abandoned vineyards because nothing was pruned and most vines were already at 2-3 leaves. Oszkár pointed at it and said these are mutant clones of Kadarka that only yield around 200 grams per vine, so he’s been letting it go completely un-pruned to see what happens. This wine lives up to the main goal Oszkár sees in the Fruška Gora – there must be intense fruit first then acidity second. Super small clusters were lightly treaded and then left on the skins for 2 weeks followed by a year in oak barrels. It was bottled unfiltered by gravity with zero additions. This is high octane fruit driven Kadarka befitting of the name.

MaurerKarom 2021
White Wine , Organic
Szerémi Zöld; Bakator; Muscat à petit Grain; Mézes Fehér;
0.87 g/l
6.45 g/l
This is a remarkable field blend from Nagy-Krisztus, one of the Grand Crus from the Szerémi wine region dating back to 1452. The name “Karom” is what this region was called up until 1540 and what is today called Sremski Karlovci. Picked together, co-fermented, 3 days of skin maceration and aged for 16 months in clay amfora. The blend is roughly 53% Szerémi Zöld, 19% Bakator, 19% Tamjanika, and 9% Mézes Fehér. The Bakator brings body and spice, the Mézes Fehér brings honey and concentration, the Szerémi Zöld brings acidity and lift, and the Tamjanika brings aromatics and even more acidity. This is like the great great grandfather of the Crazy Lud White in its conception, but coming from one special 1st class site, much longer élevage, and only made under the best conditions. Only 1400 liters were made from 4500 vines overlooking the Danube River.

MaurerMéthode Traditionnelle 2019
Sparkling Wine , Organic
Szerémi Zöld; Muscat à petit Grain; Bakator; Mézes Fehér;
7.5 g/l
6.6 g/l
The back label only serves to make the Serbian authorities happy and gets us the export paperwork we need. The actual wine is a Mézes Fehér fresh base wine – no maceration and simply pressed into tank. This ages for a year until roughly 15% of 6-day skin contact Olaszrizling must is added to start the secondary fermentation. Oszkár decided not to disgorge and leave the fine lees in the bottle. It therefore needs a little TLC before drinking. The best way to do this is to chill it upside down and have all of the lees collect in the neck. It’s crown capped, so just put it into a bowl of water upside down, open, blow out the lees, put back upright, and you’re ready to go. It’s extra brut in terms of sugar (less than 2 g/l), it’s got plenty of stuffing and the bubbles are traditional method rather than pét-nat. Once disgorged, it’s lost its protection and is best consumed in one go.

MaurerMézes Fehér 2019
White Wine , Organic
Mézes Fehér;
2.88 g/l
7.34 g/l
This is our third vintage of this grape and happily the third time I’ve had to write something completely new about it. Mézes Fehér, literally, “honey white” is typically able to contract a ton of botrytis without dropping acidity. The 2018 had around 20% botrytis infection, fermented on the skins for 7 days and aged in large Hungarian oak. The 2017 was aged under flor with two weeks of maceration. The 2019 by contrast, has much less botrytis, only spent 24 hours on the skins, and had zero flor. It’s ripe, aromatic, structured, and in many straddles the divide between the 2018 and 2017. Bottled unfiltered with zero additions.

MaurerOrion 2021
White Wine , Organic
Mézes Fehér; Furmint;
0.5 g/l
5.29 g/l
Mézes Fehér, literally, “honey white” is able to contract a ton of botrytis without dropping acidity. Sourced entirely from the Krisztus vineyard in the Fruška Gora, this vineyard was completely forested with virgin soils when Oszkár purchased it in 2006. It’s still surrounded by forest and riddled with seashells and sand overlying volcanic bedrock. Oftentimes this wine can develop under flor and have over the top botrytis. This time, while the botrytis wasn’t super high, the health of the crop was fantastic and allowed for 14 days of skin contact, zero flor, and then aged for 12 months in barrel and a small fraction in clay amphora as well. This vintage also has about 35% of Furmint which adds some acidity and structure. Aromatically pretty neutral, so the Mézes is still dominant. This is a genus of the skin contact world that isn’t found anywhere else. Bottled by gravity, unfiltered, and with zero additions.

MaurerSkin Contact Kövidinka 2022
White Wine , Organic
9.28 g/l
6.26 g/l
Planted in 1925 in what looks like pure beach sand, the combination of a super resilient local grape variety and low disease pressure make it one of the best price to quality ratio wines from the area. We’ve heard it described fondly as green apples meets rich mineral spa water, but with just 6 days of skin, it almost smells like a dead ringer for Spanish cider meets something umami and otherly. With 6 months in 500L barrel, there’s an additional spice and concentration despite the less than 10% alcohol. In some years most of this finds its way into blends, but in exceptional vintages we find it all on its own. Pungent, vibrant and yet pretty effortless to drink. Bottled unfined and unfiltered by gravity with zero additions.

MaurerTamjanika 2021
White Wine , Organic
Muscat à petit Grain;
6.5 g/l
7.02 g/l
Tamjanika is a Serbian clone of Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, but has taken on a whole new life here. Planted in the volcanic, limestone and clay of the Remete vineyard, it’s just a mere 200-300 meters from the Danube River. The harvest took place over multiple picks only seeking out the mature bunches. Concentration is key to this wine. Only 700 liters were pulled from 4 thousand vines with an average of 400 gram per vine. So even though this wine has just 1 day of skin contact, it looks and reads like a deep amber wine. Fermented in open vats, it's then barreled down for 10 months before being bottled unfiltered with gravity with zero additions. Interestingly, Tamjanika translates to “incense,” whereas we mostly use floral, perfumed or aromatic for its Western European counterparts. Dense and pungent, this is like walking into a smoky room full of ripe Muscat.

MaurerVadFekete 2021
Red Wine , Organic
0.51 g/l
6.08 g/l