Kalina Kádárüzem

The Kalina Cooper Trade is a third generational cooper business by Tokaj, in Tállya. Altogether with my four brothers, we work in a workshop. We studied the beauty and love of the trade from our father. He started working in 1959 as an artisan with traditional tools at the beginning. From 1990, he worked as a self-enterpreneur and from 1998 the business enterprise took the name of Nyírjes- fa Bt (Birch Tree Limited Partnership). The enterprise has been changing through the years technologically to answer the aims of modern wineries. The philosophy of the firm is the satisfied customer – who is the best promotion. To achieve this, we constantly improve the union of the ingredients: wood - fire - wine.

The romantic true story of our firm

Kalina Kádárüzem

The base of our firm was build by our father László Kalina, who after finishing as a cooper in 1959, started the only possible private trade during the socialist regime. It meant that next to having an official job, he could mend the former officers’ and factory leaders’ barrels. The 5 boys of his descendant, we, were born into this surrounding. Strong belief and honest work we inherited.
The regime changed with the time, so the workshop, built by my father, was not competitive amongst the new economical surroundings. What made our situation worse, was the windup of the state owned factories which resulted an enormous amount of used barrels on the market with whom we could not compete.
In the middle of the 90ies, new barrels were not demanded, so years passed when we made only 3 per year. Unfortunately, no one big firm came to support me to help my work for years. No one bought me the technology to complete my knowledge. So that, I have got to know how difficult is to achieve a goal. I know what does the lack of sweets and cokes mean in return to have a drill bit. At those particular moments, different bank loans helped me out every time in any bigger investments.
In 1998, my brother and I finished our schools. We were full with new ideas but without experience, so we started to build up our own enterprise, the new workshop and working process. Incredible though, but then we were under the pressure of constant decision makings when we had to opt for either tools or raw material. We did not have enough for both but they require each other.
So, at first we bought a bit but there was no money left. Then, I asked a piece of wood, for credit, and made a chest for shoes out of it! Its price helped me to buy a squere meter block.
We had incredible luck with having the great need of mending and renovating the barrels in the newly started cellars, for this jobs the necessary iron stock was saved by our father previously. These profits ensured us to buy further raw material.
In 1999, we made 6 new barrels. This was a serious step. Then, I bought 40 squere meter block. In 2000, we started to build a bigger workshop and later to buy new machines and even newer ones. In 2003, we made more than 400 pieces! In 2004, we bought the first special tool of coopery a hoop puller which was followed by other specialities year by year. 20 August 2005 was the day, when our company was enriched by a highly qualified and acknowledged trade coordinator, my wife. She is one of my biggest help to manage the workshop and to grow up our child.
In 2007, we made 650 barrels and the workshop counts to be a well equipped one all around Hungary. Since then, we have been able to choose between the processing of splitted blocks and sawed staves, because we have a splitting machine and the making of the ironhoops is entirely automatic. The joining of the barrel’s bottom does not require manual labour anymore. The total capacity of the workshop ends with 1500 barrels, due to our pre-arrangement when building the shop 8 years ago, so it will last till the end of my life. However, I have realised that while we are growing bigger, we lose space. During the years, I also got to know that GOALS NOT ONLY REQUIRE WORK BUT SACRIFICE AS WELL.

Our Philosophy

Kalina Kádárüzem

The coopers must make ever lasting friends from one side with the wine maker and from the other with the forester. Not accidental that, the credo of the Kalina Cooper Trade is as follows:

„For us, the case of the barrel is a matter of trust, so the barrel is the innermost confidental relationship between the cooper and the wine maker.” (Jókai)

To reach this next to human connections we have the French and American technology, the constant guarantee checking and the education of tradesman abroad. What else should we need?

– Kalina Kádárüzem –
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