Monday, 16 May, 2016 – Tokaj
Yes, we are in Tokaj, home of white wines, especially sweet white wines – think Tokay in Australian Parlance. Our first stop is at an old cathedral at the top of a hill that is being renovated.
We then drive to the Oremus Winery in Tolcsva.
We are met by a delightful Canadian girl who has spent a fair bit of time in Europe working at wineries. She knows her stuff too.
She leads us on a tour of the winery.
Then we taste a range of wines, all whites of course.
We thank our guide and then drive to Erdobenye to a Coopers Workshop. This was an absolutely stunning exhibition of making oak barrels. We took bundles of photos but I am including only a few.
He shows us the making of a barrel in three stages. Stage 1 starts with a file of oak slats and a ring.
Stage 2 starts with the Stage 1 raw barrel which has its insides burned and then the slats are compressed together.
Stage 3 involves taking a Stage 2 barrel and finishing it up with some straps in the small gaps and the insertion of the tops and bottoms of the barrel. Interestingly, the “glue” used is simple flower and water – klag.
After that amazing demonstration, we are taken into their house where we are served three of his fruit brandys.
We take leave of our very gracious and talented hosts. Still in Erdobenye, we go to the family owned Karadi-Berger Wine cellar. He has been making wine in Tokaj for about 10 years.
When we arrive, his two sons are cooking gulyas, goulash, on an open fire outside.
Our host, Zsolt Berger, talks about his wines in some depth and serves three of them, dry whites. Then they serve the lunch with the goulash.
The guys really liked the goulash but I thought it needed more Paprika. Zsolt then showed us his two dessert wines. They were very sweet but well made. At the end we depart with thanks. There was an option to go to a small wine vinegar manufacturer which we take up. We are shown a film on some very expensive video equipment and two levels of the shop. The guys participate in tastings of the many different flavours of vinegar, but I am not really a fan so did not myself.
A number of vinegars are purchased by the guys. We then drive back to our Castle Hotel for a rest. It has been a big day but we are not finished yet. We are to have dinner and wine tasting at family owned Hudacsko Winery in Bodrogkisfalud. When we arrive, we are met by a very nice lady / owner. We are shown around the winery.
Then it is up to the dining room for a traditional, home cooked meal.
I haven’t said anything yet about the wine. We were served 8 different wines along the way, all Whites, with the last few wines dessert wines, again very sweet but well made.
We thanked these fine and generous people for a great night. It has been a big day so we head back to our Castle Hotel.
Post script: having felt like my throat had been cut with nothing but white wines all day, I poured a coupled of glasses of Red back at the Hotel room. Bliss.