“In North-Eastern Hungary, Tokaji – Hegyalja warranted the world’s first appellation system over 100 years before Bordeaux. For nearly 400 years, it has served as a diplomatic tool to court foreign powers, inspired countless artists and philosophers, and has become so ingrained in Hungarian identity that it’s part of their National Anthem. One of the key features of life and history in the region is the Bodrog River. It runs from the village of Sárospatak in the north east all to the way down to Tokaj Hill in the south. The name “Bodrog” dates back to the first Magyar conquest and the very first kings of Hungary. It’s also responsible for the moisture that along with a unique confluence of grapes and terroir, makes Botrytis so prevalent.
Today, only 20+ years after the reestablishment of private and family wineries Hungary is in the midst of a wine renaissance. Bodrog Borműhely, or “Bodrog wine(bor) workshop” started by János Hajduz and Krisztián Farkas is emblematic of this new era. By maintaining tiny parcels of vineyards in historically great sites, they are making pure, modern, yet classically inspired dry wines. Knowing when to pick and where, avoiding Botrytis, and then fermenting with native yeasts in local oak barrel are the means to this end.”
The Halas (Fish) vineyard is just southwest of Lapis near the town of Bodrogkisfalud. The vineyard is covered with a think layer of Nyirok – a rich reddish clay unique to Tokaji over a base of hardened rhyolite (volcanic) rock. The microclimate is relatively warm compared to other parts of the appellation, but the vines are 40-50 years old and well adjusted. In addition to Furmint, there is also a small plot of Pinot Noir, which will soon be ready to make wine for the very first time.