Somszög Vineyards & Winery by Peter Barta

GROWING GRAPES for nearly 500 years in the historic first-class Somszög cru located in TÁLLYA, TOKAJ, HUNGARY

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At Somszög Vineyards & Winery we grow handcrafted, small-lot wines from the historic first class cru, according to the world's first Vineyard classification established in 1737.

We produce boutique wines from the indigenous grape varieties FURMINT and HÁRSLEVELŰ grown on unique VOLCANIC SUBSOIL.

History
The Tokaj wine region - also known as Tokaj-Hegyalja - located in northeastern Hungary with its volcanic slopes, wetlands creating a special microclimate that favours the apparition of the “noble rot” (Botrytis cinerea), as well as the surrounding oak forests have long been recognised as outstandingly favourable for grape cultivation and specialised wine production.

The documented history of the wine region since 1561 attests that grape cultivation as well as the making of the ‘aszú’ wine have been permanent for centuries in the area.

The legal base of delimitation of the wine region is among the first in the world and dates back to 1737 when the decree of Emperor Charles VI (Charles III, King of Hungary) established the area as a closed wine region.

Over the last twenty-five years the region went through a great development period, the entire landscape, its organisation and its character are specially shaped in interaction with the thousand-year still living tradition of wine production.

EST. 2013

The Land

48.251056° N, 21.212278° E

AT THE HEART OF EVERY GREAT WINE IS A PIECE OF LAND LIKE NO OTHER

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The Land

In wine, there is nothing so immutable as the land. Vintages offer variation, as do winemakers and proprietors. Mother Nature is capricious, always wanting the last word. But the land is a constant, its geology and composition immovable, our land is infused with clay or loess soil on a volcanic subsoil.
The microclimate is determined by the sunny, south-facing slopes and the proximity of some rivers, and is conducive to the proliferation of Botrytis (noble rot) and the subsequent desiccation of the grapes.

TállyaWines

As part of TallyaWines the wines are produced on 30+ hectares of vines of 20 vineyards. The slightly salty and mineral flavours are characteristic of the volcanic cru, their cultivation is done in a traditional, artisanal way.
The basis for the wine comes from the Somszög, Görbe, Bohomály, Bártfai, Tökös-mákos, Dongó and Hasznos crus. Our mission is to employ a high proportion of workforce, keep spraying to the minimal and restrict yields. Among our key objectives is the restoration of areas neglected for decades (often 80-90 years) to their original form. We especially look for old, abandoned plantations, which we revitalize with 3-4 years of work.

The Name

VITICULTURAL TRADITION & HERITAGE WITH MILLENNIAL VALUE

Formerly known as “Hegyes” (Sharp), the name of the cru “Somszög” has been found in 16th century documents. Legendary, probably the higher crus were called Hegyes, and only the lower ones wore the name Somszög. The Bél-Matolai classification ranked the area Class I.

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WINE MAKING

VITICULTURAL TRADITION & HERITAGE WITH MILLENNIAL VALUE

We produce organically and bio-dynamically grown fruit and make singular wines of the highest caliber. The wines invariably express the exceptional depth, elegance and longevity which are trademarks of the Somszög Vineyard, made in limited boutique quantities handicraft-style by István Hudák. He is also the one taking sole control of the vineyard.

Harvesting for a minimum of 6 months, mostly in barrels, the taste is more fruitful with low alcohol content. An important aspect is the spontaneous fermentation, we do not use wood yeast, nor our own yeast. The aroma of light golden furmint is determined by the aromas of flowers and ripe and juicy fruits, embracing mineral traits preserving the lively acid characteristic of Tállya.

By working closely with Kádár Hungary we can make the best wine possible in their vessels with confidence. They deliver only the highest quality oak barrels, strictly sourced, thoroughly seasoned and consistently toasted. Seasoned by the edge of a native forest for 24 months and more, this type of oak perfectly matches our grapes by promoting aromatic complexity, fruit freshness and tension.

Quality is maximized by using glass stoppers. As a resembling a T-shaped decanter top, they are one of the ways to attack the problem of cork taint, which is caused by TCA developing in corks. (As corks are from trees, and plants have phenols, they are one of the ingredients of TCA. TCA is the name of the chemical compound of 2, 4, 6 - trichloroanisole.)
Glass doesn’t carry this risk, and is not only easier to recycle, but also has an elegance and makes the bottle easy to open.

Selection

The new SOMSZÖG Furmint from 2016. A fresh, vibrant wine with round taste, fruity with vanilla, at the end a bit of lime and oak.

Somszög single vineyard selected dry white wine.

Somszög 2015. Single vineyard selected dry furmint from Sömszög. Spontaneously fermented. Mineral, harmonious and it still has a lot of time. The soil contains volcanic tuff and quartzite based on hard rhyolite.

Tállya

Furmint and a bit of Hárslevelű from seven vineyards, spontaneously fermented. Apple and pear, green herbs, vibrant acidity, elegant barrel notes. Mineral, harmonious and it still has a lot of time.

Acadian artifacts

Acadian artifacts and evidence of farming activities used on our land, dating back to the Acadian period.

ZZ sparkling

Zesty, lightly sparkling wine with peach, pear and green apple notes made by the Tállya collaboration. Winemaker István Hudák selected the Furmint from more than 40 tiny vineyards around the village from the first harvest at the beginning of September, which he later spiced up with a touch of Hárslevelű, then refreshed it with nicely sparkling carbon dioxide.

Late Harvest

Late Harvest Rich nose and palate: tea, honey and a creamy texture, plus grapes and rose hip. Besides the especially high 45 g/l of extract, there’s 9.9 g/l of acidity and 136 g/l of residual sugar.

the Somszög cru

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Block Facts 48.251056° N, 21.212278° E
Vineyard SOMSZÖG
Variety 70% Furmint, 30% Hárslevelű
History 16th century
Block Size 3 hectare
average age of the vines 35 years
Crop Load 1-2kg / vine
Pruning Method Cane
Row Orientation West/South-west
Soil volcanic tuff, rhyolite

The Brand

EXPRESSING THE UNIQUE & PRECIOUS AUTHENTIC RESOURCE

Our vision is nothing less than to re-embrace the long history of Somszög Vineyard while realising the full potential of this remarkable estate. Preserving and expanding upon the vineyard’s distinguished legacy in the Tokaj Wine Region is both an honor and our aspiration. Through intellectual rigor, humility, and with the utmost respect for the land, our aim is to make boutique wines that speak of the Somszög Vineyard in the most authentic way possible.

Grape cluster

Sun-kissed Furmint ripening on a warm autumn afternoon under the watchful eye of the expert vineyard and winemaking team.

Crushed grapes

After gently separating juice from the grape skins, the remains (called pomace) become part of the compost that nourishes the next year's crop.

Wine barriques

Élevage is the French term for the progression of wines from adolescence to maturity, under attentive winemaking. Wines can spend years aging in fine Hungarian barriques in our cellar.

Share our Journey

We look forward to SHARING OUR STORY with you LEADING UP TO our official opening in the AUTUMN OF 2017.

You can keep up to date with our progress, and learn more about our vineyards and wines by following us on Facebook and Instagram @somszogwinery. You should also subscribe to our newsletter and get an inside look at our vineyards and winemaking. It is our hope that by the time you and your friends uncork your first bottle of Somszög, you'll know a little (or a lot!) about what's gone into making it.

Cheers,
Peter Barta