Autumn represents the end of something in public consciousness; it brings along the twilight of the summer holiday and summer itself. But a new era starts on the rivers too just like at school, since the first cool nights, and the rapidly falling water temperature entail the explosive uptrend of predatory fish’s appetite as well. Most fish consciously prepare for winter, and parallel with the changing weather, a change gets started in the mood and appetite of fish too. For the anglers who arrive to Tokaj in this period of the year, it is not worth missing those unique opportunities that the Tisza and Bodrog rivers can offer.
The rivers show their wonderful faces in autumn. The floodplain forest is dressed in colorful clothes and the slowly balding trees dance to the roar of deer in the morning mist. Foggy mornings lure even the most cautious animals out of their shelter. Under the fog that covers the face of the river like a veil, deer and roe deer swim across the quiet flow. Wild geese, like giant arrows, cross the sky and say goodbye loudly to the changing landscape.
We are lucky in Tokaj because the two rivers have markedly different predatory fish stocks, thus pike, zander and catfish can be easily caught within a relatively little amount of time. The main predator of the Bodrog is pike, and the Tisza is famous for its zander and catfish population. The Bodrogzug Nature Reserve, as the “cradle” of the area, provides the fish with the right spawning conditions every year, thus ensuring continuous natural reproduction.
By autumn, the Bodrog River usually clears and slows down, showing a particularly friendly and quiet face at Tokaj. In addition to the larger depths of 6-8 meters, there are plenty of shallow shores, benches, shores lined with yellow water pumpkins and reeds. These shallow waters attract pike like magnets in September, as the water pumpkin fields are full of whitefish. As the water begins to cool with the first cold dawns, the “crocodile-jawed” predators visit coastal aquatic habitats and here we can catch large numbers of them if we use the right technique and bait.
This is the most exciting course for spin fishermen, as it is a big challenge to catch these strong river predators from the vegetation. Two methods are most effective in this case: we either fish with surface frog imitations on top of the pumpkin leaves or we use sinking lures (usually rubber bait) with protected hooks between the pumpkin leaf stalks. Due to the strikes seen in the vegetation, as well as the sight of pike wildly attacking surface lures, the heart of every spinning angler beats faster. These are the actions that make a spinning guy a spinning guy; usually the moment of the strike, the fierce attack of the predatory fish is what we like best in this method.
This period lasts as long as there is still water pumpkin on the surface. If the aquatic plants disappear once and for all - which usually happens by November - and the water temperature drops below the critical 10 degrees, the pike will also follow the large schools of whitefish gathering in the deeper layers of the water. Even then, they can be caught, but in a completely different way, and only in the vicinity of the bream flocks that gather at the winter dwelling spots.
The Tisza is just as magical as the Bodrog, but in terms of its predatory fish, zander and catfish are much more dominant in it. Even in autumn, these two fish species are the most common guests on the hooks of spinning anglers.
Many people do not even know how ideal September and October are for the scouting of the largest growing predator in our domestic waters. But the catfish is on a conditioning diet, getting ready for the winter. The digestion of the large-bodied fish is still quite fast in 15-20 Celsius degree water, which is why it feeds a lot and attacks larger fish more carelessly than in the summer. At the same time, when preparing for winter, it tries to get into the best possible shape, which it can achieve with regular and indiscriminate foaming.
It is no coincidence that we catch more and more catfish as by-catches during zander- and Volga zander fishing. After all, catfish prefer to stay close to smaller, easily swallowable, cylindrical fish around 30-40 cm length, and they do take the duty from them properly. But not only can we catch catfish by accident on the Tisza, but we can also aim at them consciously. We can be effective with traditional plastic lures and jigging technique or vertical fishing.
Zander migrate a lot during this period due to changing water temperatures. It is often the case that they need to be “investigated” on a daily basis, as whitefish troops move, so do the “spiny-backed” predators. They are most likely to be found on stone structures, drop-offs and underwater obstacles, snags. Interestingly, the deep pits are not yet functioning well during the transition period, they are only visited by whitefish - and thus by predators as well - just in the winter. The sandbanks, shallow but hard, clay-bottomed river sections can surprisingly keep many large zander in the fall.
In such cases, it is worth fishing for zander with the traditional plastic lure technique, but vertical fishing can also be effective. Zander fishing is a much more rewarding task in the fall than in the winter because the fish become inactive at water temperatures close to zero. This way, even a beginner spinning angler can clearly have a lot more success in the fall. Of course, there are better and worse days in autumn as well, but perseverance and conscious “point-hopping” will bring along the long-awaited success.
So, it’s no coincidence that autumn is the real season for predator anglers. We can chase our domestic predatory fish in cooling waters with much better results than in summer or winter. This is worth keeping in mind for all visitors to Tokaj, as it is easy for a spinning angler to catch the fish of his lifetime during a weekend family vacation. And if we want to pamper our limbs frozen due to the cool autumn wind, there is no better place for this purpose than a Tokaj cellar in the company of a little mulled wine.
Much like the furmint, this one is an old Hungarian grape type most likely created via natural breeding processes. According to one of several genetics-based analyses, one of the grape’s parents is the Furmint. It was first mentioned in texts originating from the Tokaj region, in 1723. The name is probably derived from its leaves being slightly similar to that of a linden tree’s, as this is also the case in other languages as well (french „Feuille de Tilleul" german „Lindenblättrige") Funnily enough, its wine frequently reminds one of linden honey when it comes to its fragrance. Traditionally, it was planted in conjunction with Furmint in order to maintain the latter grapes’ tough, more acidic characteristics and balance these out, softening and enriching the aroma.
Its subtypes were described by Márton Németh in his Ampelography: the Nemes (Noble) Hárslevelű’s long, cylinder shaped clusters are prone to ripening, the Fecskefarkú (Sparrow-tailed) subtype’s clusters are very long, often twisting and turning at the very bottom, and is slightly less prone to being as fertile. The Rúgós Hárslevelű possesses small clusters while being very loose, therefore making it basically unusable. During the selection of the grapes’ clones, the continued fertilisation of several, more valuable grapevines can lead to increasing the overall value of the grape. In the case of Hárslevelű, this can lead to generally better, more evenly sized clusters and plain better results regarding the taste of these clones’ final wines. These clones include the T.311 type from Tarcal, but Kecskemét’s selected K.9 and also the P.41, originating from Pécs.
Its loose clusters are made up of slightly smaller to medium-sized, thin-skinned berries, at least when compared to the Furmint type. Its cluster often grow very large, „as big as a small pig”, and the harvesters really like to take pictures with them during the season. The teeth on its leaves’ edges are round, while its parent types’ have pointy, serrated edges, thus being easily distinguishable from other grapes. Compared to the Furmint, it can prove to be slightly more vulnerable to many different effects: it doesn’t handle drought very well, it’s prone to illnesses and infections such as powdery mildew as well as malnourishment, and it’s especially sensitive when it comes to subzero temperatures, taking high amounts of frost damage. When it comes to the efficient and successful growing of Hárslevelű, a careful consideration of placement and extreme caretaking are required. It is less prone to the effects of noble rot, although its later-ripened specimens can be affected by it successfully. The aforementioned linden honey infused, delicately aromatic and spicy taste palette apply to both dry and sweet Hárslevelű wines, and a good amount of residual sugar can do wonders to the wine. It complements Furmint extremely well if one decides to mix multiple types.
The total plantation area of furmint is 1120 hectares throughout the Tokaj Wine Region, making it cover 20% (TBHK, 2018) of the entirety of grown areas in the region. Its overall planted area in the country is 1612 hectares (2008), traditionally grown in the Eger Wine Region around the locale of Debrő, in Somló, Villány, and on the northern coasts of Lake Balaton. Outside of Hungary, smaller plantations can be found in Austria, Slovakia and Romania as well.
translated by Áron Várhelyi
Read more about the other Tokaj grape varieties!
Although its origin hasn’t been confirmed via genetic research, most ampelographers have come to the consensus that the Romanian “Grasă” (Romanian for “fat”), or “Grasă de Cotnari”, and Kövérszőlő are one and the same grape variety. Altought this title has only been apparent since the 19th century and onwards among the Tokaj grapes. Professionals also believe that Kövérszőlő is the same as “Fejérszőlő”, which goes back to as far as the 17th century, being mentioned in multiple texts. It’s been grown for more than hundreds of years around the Cotnar area in Romania. In this region, three different types are described: another with yellow or greenish berries, and one with a crunchier fruit skin. This amount of variability can be related to Cotnar being the original home of Kövérszőlő.
According to a Romanian folktale, Stephen III, a Moldavian monarch was visiting Matthias I in his court in Gyulafehérvár, where the former was so impressed by the Kövérszőlő wine he tasted that he actually returned with several cuttings in order to create a plantation of his own back home. Another tale claims that Kövérszőlő was brought to Cotnar from Hungarian territory by the German Gutnar, where he gave his name to the village that gave home to the vineyards Gutnar-Kotnar) in the 15th century.
It is easily recognised by its large, dark green, deeply toothed leaves and, of course, its giant (fat) berries (Kövér-szőlő = Fat-grape) and large clusters. Its secondary shoots grow forcefully and it takes a special sort of attention to make sure that its clusters don’t become too overwhelmed with its leafage. Failing to address this can lead to a slow ripening process and increases the chance of acidobacter infection. The latter is more probable thanks to the amount of wasps and boars that like to feast on its easily consumable berries. It ripens one, maybe two weeks earlier than Furmint. It’s recommended to harvest it at the end of September or the beginning of October if one aims to make dry wine out of it. The examinations of the Tokaj Research Institute compare the grape to older, white wine yielding grape varieties such as the variations of Goher, Balafánt or the White járdovány. When it comes to the potential of dry wine, the character and qualities of the dry Kövérszőlő are the closest to the Furmint. Its growing popularity in the past centuries is also thanks to the fantastic quality, greasy, rich aszú berries it can yield after having been affected by noble rot. Harvesting these berries can lead to the production of incredibly valuable sweet wines. Many like to consume it fresh, as a fruit snack, although its thin skin makes it susceptible to bursting open, therefore the transportation of Kövérszőlő is quite troublesome.
It is grown on more than 400 hectares today in Romania, primarily among the hills of the Moldovan wine region and its twelve main foothills, in the Cotnar region, secondarily in the Wallachian and Oltenian wine regions, in the area of Dealu Mare. Dry, semisweet, sweet and late harvest wines are all made from its fruit. It was quite the important grape type in the Tokaj region until the unfortunate phylloxera plague destroyed most of its plantations, making it almost completely disappear from the repertoire of grapes. Multiple smaller installations of Kövérszőlő were created in the 1990s, which leads to a total amount of a little more than 50 hectares being produced today (a small sum of 1% of the whole region). Its wine can be labelled once again as “Tokaji” since 1998.
translated by Áron Várhelyi
2020. Tokaji Kövérszőlő / !! ÚJ !!
száraz | dry / 0,75l
alkohol | alcohol: 11,94%
maradékcukor | residual sugar: 8,4 g/l
sav | acidity: 7,6 g/l
készült | bottled: 980 palack | bottles
nébih engedélyszám: IHZG
2015 óta készítünk száraz bort is ebből a nagyon ritka tokaji szőlőfajtából. A visszajelzések arra biztatnak minket, hogy ne szakítsuk meg ezt a szokásunkat, így íme itt a 2020-as évjárat!
Szeptember végén szüreteltük a szépen beérett szőlőfürtöket.
Az erjedés tölgyfardóban, lassan, nyugodtan zajlott le és a tisztítási műveletek után a bor további 3 hónapot töltött még hordóban.
Ízben vastag, komplex, inkább fűszeres, kissé ásványos, citrusos. Illatban halvány fúszeresség, körte és őszibarack.
Érdekességek a Kövérszőlőről itt!
BORTESZT | Borrajongó blog / 2021. július
"Egy ritka, száraz iskolázású kövérszőlő. Visszafogott fehér húsú gyümölcsös, őszibarackos illat, enyhe trópusi érintéssel. Gömbölyded, finom szövésű korty fogad szájban, a savak és a maradékcukor szépen kiegyensúlyozzák egymást. Ízében őszibarack, körte, fehér húsú gyümölcsök, egy kevés citrus és fűszer"
2018. Tokaji Kövérszőlő, késői szüret
édes | sweet 0,75l
Malomfeli dűlő | single vineyard
alkohol | alcohol: 12,5%
maradékcukor | residual sugar: 57 g/l
sav | acidity: 5,6 g/l
készült | bottled: 2170 palack | bottles
Túlérett, töppedt fürtökből válogatott alapanyag. 5 hónap fahordós érlelés.
Érdekességek a Kövérszőlőről itt.
BORTESZT | Ripka Gergely-Tokaj Guide / 2020. június
"Édes verzióban is megcsodálható a történelmi fajta. A rá jellemző (édesben is) visszafogott, enyhén herbális, vegetális jelleget mutatta orrban. A korty nagyon kerek, nem mondható hosszúnak, viszont egyensúlyos (57 g/l cukorral), finom és mindenekelőtt tiszta zamatú. Lazább, közérthető, egyszerű édes bor, mindennapi fogyasztáshoz. 5+"
2014. Tokaji Kövérszőlő
édes | sweet 0,375l
Malomfeli dűlő | single vineyard
alkohol | alcohol: 11%
maradékcukor | residual sugar: 130 g/l
sav | acidity: 6,5 g/l
készült | bottled: 1619 palack | bottles
Túlérett, töppedt, aszúsodott fürtökből válogatott alapanyag. 14 hónap fahordós érlelés. "5 puttonnyi" maradékcukor.
Érdekességek a Kövérszőlőről itt.
BORTESZT | Borrajongó blog / 2021 július
"Túlérett, aszúsodott fürtökből készült, 14 hónap hordós érleléssel, lényegében szamorodni technológiával, 130 g/l a maradékcukor. Fejlett, szépen érő illatában aszalt gyümölcsök, datolya, birsalma, egy kevés dió. A korty dús és koncentrált, finoman krémes, de van benne tartás is a sok maradékcukor mellett. Aszalt gyümölcsök, birsalma, datolya, füge, pici dió színezi, határozott botrytises karakter érezhető ízben is."
BORTESZT | Ripka Gergely-Tokaj Guide / 2020. június
"Nehéz év, zseniális bor. Akik régóta figyelgetik a tokaji évjáratokat, azok talán tudják, hogy 2010 és 2014 is okozott TokajSweet vonalon meglepetéseket: az aszúzás után, ami fenn maradt és nem rohadt le, az olyan koncentrált, szárazanyagban oly gazdag édes alapanyaggá tudott válni (az esős évjáratok tápanyagforgalma révén), ami szárazabb, melegebb években lehetetlen. Almás, birses, körtés, érett gyümölcsös aromák, egyedi illat. Ízben is megvan az érettség, magas cukra azonban repíti, hosszú, vastag és nagyon gazdag bor (extrakt). Eszméletlenül komplex, vastag korty, utóízben az aszalt gyümölcsök mellett kávéval. Extrém bor, de jó, hogy ilyesmi is megtapasztalható önálló tételként. 7"
BORTESZT | Debreceni Borozó / 2017. december
"Nagyon halvány szalmasárga szín, citrus, barack, köszméte, vaj az illatában, szép kerek sav és édesség, közepes test, a korty zamatos, gyümölcsös, közepesen hosszú." 84 pont
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Read more about other grape varieties of the Tokaj wine region!
The three most popular grapes of the Tokaj Wine Region, the Furmint, Hárslevelű and Sárgamuskotály, are all products of natural hybridization, could have happened hundreds, or even a thousand year ago. The potential ancestors of these grapes can nowadays be pinpointed via the assistance of modern genetic research. The origins of Zéta, a grape variety that is grown in the smaller area, are known to us, however: Dr. Ferenc Király and his colleagues created Zéta by crossing Furmint and Bouvier in 1951, in Pécs. It’s a sort of „half-sibling” to the Zengő, Zenit and Zeusz. The grape previously known as Oremus was later renamed in 1999 due to it having the same name as a vineyard in Sátoraljaújhely. Its new name was declared Zéta, which was inspired by a hero of a novel written by Géza Gárdonyi. The goal of the grape breeding agenda was to take the qualities of the popular, late maturing white grapes like Ezerjó and Furmint, and transfer them into early maturing and safer grape types. The early maturing is thanks to the usage of Bouvier: the french-sounding name is that of Clotar Bouvier, a grape breeder, who most likely developed Bouvier based on a grape plant discovered in current-day Slovenia in 1900, through further cross breeding.
Out of all the Zéta that was approved by the state in 1990, only 34 hectares were being cultivated to in the year 1999 in the Tokaj Region. At the start of the 2000s, a rapid development of growth started and today, Zéta is planted on nearly 116 hectares in the region. From a viticultural standpoint, it’s much more demanding than Furmint or Hárslevelű. It produces many shoots, and its hidden buds break out frequently on the stems of the vine. The timely removal of these unnecessary parts are vital to maintaining a breezy and loose foliage.
The maturity is at least 10 days, often two whole weeks or more earlier in relativity to the Furmint’s time of maturing. Given the potentially rainy autumn weather, this can very often make or break a harvest season. Even without the presence of aszú, it can still be considered as a late harvest grape before the autumn rains arrive around here. If aszú is indeed present, however, its dense clusters go through the process quite evenly and in a balanced fashion, therefore, the collection of aszú berries can be rather quick. The berries attacked by Botrytis are prone to falling off the stem of the cluster, and so it so important to harvest the Zéta aszú very carefully. Both the late harvest and the Zéta aszú are quite concentrated in terms of taste, carrying a rich, honey-like palette of aroma, which of course applies to most of the naturally sweet wines created from it. The only disadvantage of the variety may be its relatively low average acid levels. It is for this reason that many recommend combining it with the much more acidic Furmint after an especially hot summer and autumn.
translated by Áron Várhelyi
Although there are more than 200 grape varieties called Muscat, a majority of them aren’t actually related to Sárgamuskotály or the Muscats of Alexandria or Ottonel. When it comes to the ancient origin, popularity and intense smell of a grape, Sárgamuskotály is and always will be the absolute winner.
„Muskotály” is one of the few words in our language. The persian word muchk, or the Greek moschos, Latin muscus, French musc, English musk and the Hungarian mósusz are referring to a material known since ancient times as an aphrodisiac, its main source being the sexual secretions of a hoofed animal called the musk deer, which makes its home in South-East Asia. Since the extreme hunting of the animal from the 1970s, the musk deer are considered a vulnerable species, therefore the material is mostly artifically produced for the perfume industry nowadays. The smell and the rare perfume-like scent of the Muscat types reminded many wine-makers and consumers of an especially valuable perfume. When it comes to Muscat, it was referred to in around 1230, later to be described in French texts. In the sense of Yellow Muscat it was first mentioned in 1304, found in an Italian source of transcripts.
One widespread – but never confirmed – theory suggests that Sárgamuskotály originates from Ancient Greece and made its way to Rome by the way of traders and merchants. The romans later brought it to the mediterranian areas of France, where it grew to be recognised as Muscat de Frontignan, Muscat (de) Lunel. Genetic research proves its relation to Greek varieties, alongside an obvious parent-offsping relation to the Muscat of Alexandria and several other Muscats. The “official” name of the grape in France is “Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains” (small-berried white muscat).
When exposed to the sun, its bulky clusters are made up of small, yellow, then rust-brown colored berries, which take place either loosely or quite close together. Yellow spikes on the edge of its older leaves separate it from other Tokaj varieties. Younger shoots and leaves also emit its familiar scent when rubbed together, making this grape type clearly special.
It’s considered one of the more difficult grapes to grow when it comes to viticulture. It creates multiple, but not as intensively growing shoots. Its hidden offshoots also break out occasionally, becoming a necessity to remove them in order to create a loose foliage. The shoots don’t grow upwards as much as Furmint or Hárslevelű, therefore it becomes vital to keep them as much inbetween the wiring as possible. It’s recommended to use the Guyot-method, one of the more popular cultivation methods of this grape, instead of the other cordon-based cultivation style. The skin of the berries can easily get “scorched” if exposed to a large amount of sunlight, creating slight amounts of scar tissue on the fruit. It’s quite susceptible to acetic rot, especially after a large amount of rainfall, making the berries blister and puff up, tightening to each other before eventually bursting. Its fruit is well-liked by hornets, wasps, deer and boar as well. Being a naturally good sugar collector, it makes for great aszú material. It is mostly used for creating products for fresh consumption and making nicely scented dry wines, although its unique taste palette can be used for producing late-harvest or even aszú wine from Sárgamuskotály.
Its flavours’ primary components are terpene compounds (monoterpenes), which are primary aroma components found in the ripe berries themselves. Due to consumers usually lacking the experience in tasting the original musk, its scent is usually associated with a “grape’s fruit scent”, or perhaps a rose’s flowery smell. Other grape varieties have also proven to emit the muscat-like scent (such as Chasselas) and the Gewürztramini’s special taste is also thanks to terpene compounds. The preservation of the primary aroma is the most challenging factor of working with this grape, since these valuable substances are quite sensitive to high temperature and oxidation. In past years, the dry, elegantly scented, relatively low-alcohol wines’ fruits are usually harvested at the end of a hot August, or an early September. During these times, an early morning picking and the cooling of the berries – before the processing of the fruit – is a great way to preserve the natural scent and taste substances.
Sárgamuskotály is the most popular muscat in terms of planted areas in the world. It’s grown on 7620 hectares in France (2009), 13280 in Italy (2010), 713 in Spain (2008), 693 in Portugal (2010) and 647 hectares in our “slightly more competitive” home country of Hungary (2008). 560 hectares of the total are to be found in the Tokaj Region, according to recent statistical data (2018, HNT). Its oldest mention is from 1570 as “Muskotal”, although, like the other types grown in the region, it regained popularity after the replantation following the phylloxera swarm. It is most likely the oldest grape type produced in the Carpathian basin, being a great base for the rich wines made around Somló, the Mátra and the Balatonboglár regions as well.
A tokaji Malomfeli-dűlő legmagasabban fekvő tábláiból szüreteltük a szépen beérett, illatos szőlőfajtát. A bort az elsődleges - fajtából eredő - illatanyagok és aromák legtökéletesebb megőrzése céljából tartályban erjesztettük. Palackozására 2021. áprilisában került sor.
Ebben a - teljesen száraz - változatban igazi ritkaság.
BORTESZT | Vince Magazin / 2021. július
"Visszafogott illat, benne virágok, enyhén méz és nyomokban sárgabarack. Szép savszerkezet, közepesen intenzív aromák a kortyban: barackos és almás jegyek.Ásványos, szikár lecsengésteszi karakteressé, utóíze kifejezetten hosszúés összetett. Sokkal inkább egy jó száraz tokaji, mintsem illatos bor." Kiváló bor 16/20 pont
6-os kartonban -10% kedvezménnyel veheted meg itt!
száraz | dry / 0,75l
alkohol | alcohol: 12,87%
maradékcukor | residual sugar: 0,7 g/l
sav | acidity: 6,7 g/l
készült | bottled: 1332 palack | bottles
nébih engedélyszám: IHZE