Posted On Friday, March 26, 2010 at 12:48:31 AM
After touring two weeks in Italy, I had boarded a train from Venice to Budapest, Hungary. This was a summer to remember, the group of 30 fellow travellers was the best company I could have asked for.
After our crazy yet fun train adventure it was back to serious business — business of tasting some of the finest wines that Hungary had to offer, travelling across some breathtaking landscapes and exploring some more wine!
When one thinks of wine and Hungary it is Tokaj (pronounced Tokai) that pops in the mind. Hungary is known world over for this deliciously wonderful dessert wine that is super sweet and has a great balance in terms of acidity and alcohol. So the first region we headed for was the Tokaj.
We visited the vineyard named Het-Szolo Tokaj. The total area under cultivation in Tokaj is 6,000 hectare cultivated by 12,000 farmers. So the size of each average holding is less then half hectare, but this is one of the biggest domains of Tokaj with 50 hectare.
The cultivars (grape varieties) planted are Furmint and Muscat. Irrigation is not allowed in these vineyards and it is also expensive.They make 60hl/hectare of non botrytized wine and 15hl/hectare of late harvest wines.
Aszu is the famous Tokaj white wine made from 100% Fourmit, which is aged 24 months in barrel and one year in a bottle.
Tokajbor Bene was a family run enterprise headed by women that we visited next. This was our most hospitable visit so far where the complete family went out of way to make our visit memorable.
They have 5 hectare of vineyards and they buy additional 15 hectare worth grapes. The local grape varieties here are Furmint, Harslevelu, Muscat and Lunel.
Their specialties are the Aszu and Szamorodni. The Aszu is known to be one of the worlds oldest botrytized wines.
Finishing the day seeing this all-women team do some great work was rather inspiring. It was rather interesting to note that about 70 percent of my classmates/ travel partners were women!
And mind you, there was no women reservation quota involved, it was merit that got us all selected for this prestigious Vintage Masters! So cheers to that!