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Winery #90: Disznókő (Tokaj, Hungary)

Saving the best for last, the Disznókő FIVE-STAR Tokaj private wine experience led by Tibor and Viktoria was a series of incredible surprises that culminated with a candlelit wine tasting deep in the estate's cool, dark cellar. We met our hosts in the wine shop overlooking the surrounding vineyards, where we would learn more about the history of Vinea Disznókő, or Disznókő vineyard in Hungarian, dating back to 1413. It was interesting to hear that the winery was instrumental in creating a group of estates destined to reinvigorate the Tokaj wine-producing region following the fall of communism in Hungary.

After introducing the estate, Tibor and Viktoria led us up a short climb to a vista point overlooking all the vineyard areas. We found the sweeping views breathtaking and spent a few minutes taking copious pictures and videos to commemorate our visit. This tour would be our sole vineyard visit during our stay in Hungary, and we were grateful to our hosts for taking the time to usher us through the vines. The next stop was the production facilities, another wonderful surprise. We learned that AXA Millésimes purchased Disznókő in 1992, immediately replanting the vines and investing an extremely significant amount in rebuilding the production facility. The facilities would soon buzz with activity as harvest is only a short time away. During our visit, we paused for Tibor to give a presentation on the winemaking process in the winery’s event space. Tibor provided a fantastic overview of the sweet Azsú winemaking process.

Following our production facilities tour, we returned to the wineshop, where Viktoria opened a large door revealing a long ramp descending deep into the cellars. Here, we would have the opportunity to taste six wines from the estate. The lineup included dry and sweet wines with water and pretzels to compliment the tasting. Brodi was also able to wet his palate as well with a bowl of refreshing Disznókő water. The star of the show was the lusciously sweet 2016 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos. As promised in our previous post, we will now go into the highly unique (and super interesting for us wine nerds) production process of the Tokaji Aszú.

Aszú grapes are affected by the Botrytis, a fungus that causes small holes to form in the grape skin. Water drains from the berry, resulting in a shriveled grape with highly concentrated flavors, acidity, and sugars. As discussed in recent posts, special conditions in the Tokaj region allow for the Botrytis fungus to develop: foggy autumn mornings offset by sunny and breezy afternoons. In 2016, the Disznókő harvesters needed to make five passes through the vineyards to identify and hand-pick these individual rotten Aszú berries. The estate only uses the white Furmint grape indigenous to Hungary for the production of Aszú due to the grape’s susceptibility to Botrytis and the high acidity level that delivers freshness to the resulting sweet wine.

The Disznókő winemakers incorporate the Aszú berries in a white Furmint base wine that’s already fermenting, allowing the berries to combine with the base wine for 60 hours. The winemaker then drains the juice and presses the Aszú berries allowing this liquid to continue fermenting until she or he finds the right balance of alcohol and sugar content. What does 6 Puttonyos mean? To make it simple, the higher the Puttonyos, the sweeter the wine. The classification goes back to the number of buckets, or puttony, of Aszú berries that the winemaker would add to the base wine during production. Wine law changed in 2013, so some producers may not continue use the scale.

We found the 2016 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos incredible! The super-intense aromas of honey, apricots, and oranges jumped out of the glass, and with our first sip, the wine generously coated our palates. The wine was lusciously sweet, but the acidity from the white Furmint grapes balanced the wine into a masterpiece. We’ll need to open a bottle of the 2016 Tokaji Aszú 6 Puttonyos this evening!

500 Wineries would like to send an enormous THANK YOU to Tibor and Viktoria for delivering an outstanding wine experience, ranking in the TOP 10% of our 97 visits in the last twelve months. If you are interested in a top-notch experience in Tokaj, Disznókő is your destination!!

Experience Rating: 5 Stars!!

Brodi's Rating: 2 Paws Up

Pet-Friendly: Yes

Experience Vibe: Private Experience, Vineyard Tour, Production Facilities Tour, Cellar Tour, Cellar Tasting

Reservations Needed: Yes

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