We realised it was just a kind of ”set aside”-like vintage. The miraculous botrytisation filled the barrels with szamorodni and aszú wines. We planted another new hectare in the Csontos vineyard (I hoped it was already the last round). We managed to renovate the old manor building of the ceramics manufacture. We have successfully applied for a tender, so the investment could continue with the winery.
This year our grapes were harvested from 7 hectares, we cultivated 9 hectares, our wines are sold in 9 countries. We have got a big house, a big cellar and a big press house. Indeed, 3 big boys – triple happiness.
We started to use the press house. It became a venue of happy and joyful events. A host of good guests, good friends and good winemakers – in fact all these close to the nature. Practically, it is the pure manifestation of a sincere community. We planted another one hectare of Furmint on the top of the Csontos vineyard. The misty, foggy and slimy autumn took away 40% of our grapes. Following a very hard selection, wines were beautifully ageing in the bottles. After a long time, we finally managed to make again a barrel of aszú wine. With our support, the construction of the BMX track is finished in the village.
It was a good reflection of the weather that we decided to make only dry wines. It was a vintage producing ”easy-to-drink”, ageable wines with a good balance. We started to go for something big. We bought ”Herend of Zemplén”, namely the old ceramics manufacture in Bodrogkeresztúr. Our special relationship with the founder family began this year. It was basically a crumbling pile in the middle of the jungle – someone needed a vivid imagination to see here a picture of a future winery, a family home and a pension.
On the same day of the year, our third son and Jóska’s red tractor arrived. Peace and satisfaction settled upon the family. Owing to this funny coincidence, I know exactly the closing date of our leasing transaction. We did not open the window even in summer evenings – it was a cold vintage with cold notes appearing in the wines
Our first harvest, when we could make the entire vertical product range within the vintage: sparkling, single-vineyard dry Hárslevelű and Furmint, Exczellencziás, late harvest, szamorodni, and aszú wines. Ecstatic feelings, we would have been thirsting such a vintage for a long time in the future, I bet.
It was a copy of the year 2011. We had a wet winter, an early vintage as a whole. There was only a little rain in the vegetation period – which should not be a problem on its own, but more importantly, this has already been the second year of drought in a row at that time. It has been the fourth year that we have not got any aszú wines. We hired a new plot for 5 years in the Palánkos vineyard.
With a help of a tender, we could buy the cellar that we had only hired until that time. It was immediately extended by 15 metres and even furnished with a tasting room in the attic. We can host 10 guests here to taste some wines in a closed but relatively comfortable place. It has been the first (and up to date the last) time we celebrated Valentine’s Day – I was surprised with a wine filter of 20x20 as a present.
The year of the “one wine only” – indeed, we also found a stylish label to put on it, a black one. Basically, we did not believe in the vintage at all. All seasons were cold and wet. It was a record in precipitation, a collapse of the loess wall… We could only make a cuvée wine of the single-vineyard wines. Then, as years were passing by, the wine became more and more beautiful – in fact, thought-provoking. We managed to achieve our first large export to the USA.
It was the year of our first plantation. We planted Hárslevelű in the Határi vineyard and Furmint in the Csontos vineyard. We had to be in a hurry since the early spring brought rapid budding. During this dry and warm year we learned many things about the soils. Our family was growing – the biggest present of the year was the birth of our second son.
Our dry wines were filled in bottles of 0.75 litres, and we reached a yield of 40 hectolitres. The rainy and cold summer brought pressure to us – severe brown rot and peronospora diseases hit the whole wine region. There was even a serious hailstorm in the Csontos vineyard this year. Cold notes appearing in our aszú wine suggested a very clean impression. We tried to make an estate wine – but later on it turned out as a failure.
We opted to buy the ruined Zsedényi press house standing alone as a diva in the middle of the Csontos vineyard. A five-year long wrangling process just started for getting a 1/6 part possessing in it, but in the end we managed to get it. In the Határi vineyard, we could harvest the first vintage. Most obviously, it was the aszú wine that could reflect the big temperature difference compared to the previous year: in the cellar, our bottles filled with it reminded us of thick but soft Venus statuettes
The spring was much behind the time after a long, normally cold winter. Budding was also late, and a vast amount of rain brought an incredible growth. Blooming was a bit late, too. The summer was hectic, we had difficulties in protecting the grape. However, the autumn compensated us, we had a nice, long Indian summer again. It was the warmest autumn in the last five years. As for our wines, both sugar and acids were OK, they showed a nice balance and elegance. Finally we had a real barrel of own aszú wine as well – and it was not only in my dreams, anymore.
All we had was a small house, a small plot, and a small cellar – all hired at that time. And a little child that always makes a big pleasure. We had only a half hectare in the Teleki vineyard on the Tokaj Hill with some 70-year old, traditional head-trained vines, and a plot of 4320 square metres in the Előhegy vineyard – as our wedding gift. The conditions (soil, location, vines) are close to perfect in the Csontos, our third starting vineyard. A ruined press house in the middle of the plot, some charming neighbours – cannot be more ideal, it is the perfection itself.