Although it is unknown exactly when the Turul family began their wine-making tradition in Tokaj-hegyalja, Hungary, we can be sure that the tradition dates back a long time. Historical records demonstrate that the vineyards had been established in the Tokaj region as early as the 12th century, and the Turul name was already mentioned in 16th-century documents describing the region’s vineyards.
However rich the history of a family and its winery may be, times change, and Turul’s traditions evolved with modern dreams of a new life. Laszlo (Leslie) Turul, who came from a long line of skilled winemakers, chose to break with tradition and move away from Hungary to the U.S. in the 1920s. Like so many, he was pursuing a new life and hoping to live the American Dream—but he couldn't escape the family legacy of winemaking.
First piece of land
In 1936, Laszlo purchased his first small piece of land near Oakville, California, what is today the Old Ranch Vineyard. It resembled the Tokaj region both in climate and soil. Initially, one tiny 20 by 34-foot cellar was the only building on the plot. Then the operation began to expand: in 1950 the original cellar was renovated and a new 3,750 square-foot building was constructed nearby to support large-scale production of generic wines. By 1979, a new welcome center had been erected, and later in the1980s, production increased and doubled the size of the Turul portfolio.
First public tour
The first public tour was given at the Winery in 1984, an up-close, inside look at how grapes are grown, how the wine is crafted, and how to truly see, taste, and feel wine. A variety of Winery events have been happening ever since, and new construction and renovations are always designed in harmony with the Turul family's vision of a year-round destination not only for wine connoisseurs, but for anyone who simply wants to enjoy themselves and make memories in this beautiful setting.