01 Jan The Man Behind the New Book about Women in Winemaking
We at Food Lover Tour are big lovers of good food and wine and love being able to share our passions with others. One of our guides in Barcelona, Zoltan Nagy, has shared his passion for wine in his first book that was recently published, Reinas de Copas. It’s an inside guide to women in winemaking as well as tales of the wine industry in Spain.
Zoltan Nagy was born in Transylvania the same year the Berlin Wall was demolished into a family of 5 children. As a child he found it easy to learn languages and currently speaks and writes in 5, and is now learning Chinese. Described as “a restless kid with desire,” he adopted Barcelona as his home in 2010. He enjoys learning about and discovering wines, and dedicating himself to the wonderful world of wine. Zoltan is a columnist for several online publications which are published in different parts of the world. Some examples are Vinetur, El Correo del Vino, and Digital Economy. He is a member of AEPEV (Spanish Association of Journalists and Wine Writers) and FIJEV (International Federation of Wine and Spirits Journalists and Writers).
How did you become interested in wine? How did it lead you to your career?
I started drinking it and then worked as a waiter in several different places. I then discovered that my passion is to travel and discover areas of the world, thanks to the world of wine.
Has this always been an interest of yours?
It is something which I am passionate about. I’m traveling more and find that I love and I’m interested in things in which some years ago I wasn’t. The best way to get rich is by traveling and opening your mind. I’m now spending all my money traveling and trying to discover and visit new places.
What is the book about?
It is about 5o female Spanish winemakers; the most important women from the Spanish and international wine industry. Plus, you will discover 50 wines with women at their souls.
What inspired you to write this book?
Women. They are my inspiration, with a glass of wine next to me as well.
What do you love about wine and being a sommelier?
Traveling, and connecting with winemakers and other wine lovers.
What do you wish people better understood about wine?
That it’s a culture; that wine is art and if you have a wine culture you’re rich. And always with moderation. Balance in life is very important.
What are some of your favorite wines?
That is a really hard question. Wine is always about the moment and the people. It depends on where I am or what I’m doing, though I have some wines I love prefer more than others.
See more: Wine in Spain: Facts & Figures
How hard is it to be a female winemaker? How influenced are they by male relatives (positively and negatively)? Are they shadowed by those same relatives?
Nowadays I think it’s not as hard as before. More and more, people are accepting that the real leaders are women! They control the world. They are amazing, really hard workers, and perfectionists. Therefore, more females are going back to the family business and they’re filling important jobs in this industry. I think it’s a good evolution for everyone.
Are there D.O. in Spain with more women than others?
Spain in general has more than 200 women who are winemakers. I think in Catalonia there are many, maybe more than in other wine regions. Here, we have 11 DO.
Which Spanish regions support women in wine?
In general, they all do. Some places still need to accept that the wine industry is already conquered by females. I’m happy that the world is slowly changing.
Are women in wine as recognized as men?
Sadly, no. But things are changing and that is a positive thing. Women are able to hold important positions in companies and are very good at delegating. Apart from their sensitivity, many of them know how to get out of many tense situations. I believe that many of them are super women and with extraordinary powers.
What drew you to Barcelona?
Holidays 7 years ago, and then I never left! So, I’m on a long holiday.
Where do you like to go in Barcelona for good food and wine?
Wow, that is hard to say. But I have to say Barcelona offers a wonderful rich gastronomy culture. I love to eat in the local markets, smell the fresh seasonal ingredients, and enjoy being a local.
To snag a copy of Reinas de Copas for yourself, you can click here to order directly from the publisher, Tolosa Wine Books. You can also pick Zoltan’s brain and learn more about the world of wine on our Wine Day Trip outside of Barcelona in the Penedès wine country. Follow Zoltan on Twitter (@ZoltanCsabaNagy), Instagram (@ZoltanCsaba) and Facebook (@ZoltanCsaba24) for an inside look into the world of wine!
Note: some answers have been edited for clarity.