2015 Apatsagi Furmint, Somlo, Hungary

2015 Apatsagi Furmint, Somlo, Hungary


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"Somló (Shoam-low) is Hungary’s smallest appellation and is the result of the erosion of ancient lava flows. A lone volcanic butte. Now dormant, its slopes of ancient sea sediment, hardened lava, and basalt are home to some of Hungary’s steepest, most densely planted vineyards. Driving up to Somló from Lake Balaton, it’s like seeing an island rise up from the ocean’s horizon. The oldest writings mentioning the wine of Somló date back to 1093 and viticulture all the way back to the Romans.  Hungarian Kings bought vineyards here, Maria Theresa and Queen Victoria both praised the wines, and insurgent Hungarian troops fighting against the Habsburgs would solute the vineyards as they marched past at the end of the 17th century. In 1752, local laws stated that if you were found adding water to wine, expect 25 lashings as the minimum punishment. If you were found to be labeling wine as Somló but using other fruit sources, you would be banned from making wine permanently and might even have your property confiscated."

Zoltán Balogh's Apátsági winery, estate and cellar were originally owned by the Benedictine Pannonhalma Archabbey. After WWII, the land was expropriated and redistributed during Communism. It was brought back to life and replanted in 2001 with 5 people including the grandson of the last winemaker before the war. Zoltán’s grandparents were also local winemakers on the hill.

While the top of Somló hill is around 431 meters above sea level, Apátsági’s vineyards grow between 220-260 meters.  Most of what is grown is stake trained (typical of Somló), and everything is dry farmed without herbicides or pesticides. All of the vineyards are on southeast slopes planted in a mixture of clay, sand and the ubiquitous basalt and total only 3 hectares.  

Dry, vibrant, high acidity, briny minerality, long tailing finish - 100% Furmint




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