Tokaj, Wine, Friends.
These three define our lives. It was these three that made us in 2023 and will continue to do so in the new year.
You can read our annual report below.
Grubs and Fungi – battle in the vineyard
After cutting back the grapevines, spring wasn’t off to a good start up in the vineyard. A certain pest appeared, one that is quite rare and honestly shouldn’t be that significant based on past experiences. The mild winter only assisted the harmful work that the caterpillars of the willow beauty did on our grapes, appearing in large numbers in the middle of April. They unfortunately chewed through multiple fertile buds before we spotted them and began to take action against the problem. At this point, we had already realised that this year’s yield would be slightly lighter than we would like. Having learned our lesson, we are preparing for these little worms a bit more during the year.
With the oncoming heat and rain that came with the summer, the country-wide fight against powdery mildew and peronospora was in full force. We had to use pesticide and vegicide more often than usual and we constantly strived to make the vines more loose and open to free wind with our cutters and scissors. Thanks to all our efforts, we had little trouble from our well-known fungal invaders.
Towards the end of the harvest season, the grapes have nicely and fully matured in our vineyard, the aszúification process beginning a bit later on. We’re proud to say that we’ve made it through yet another eventful and insightful viticultural season. We complemented our losses in yield by purchasing some extra amounts of grape, which was something we wanted to do anyways given the fact that we started the harvest with a near-empty cellar – thanks to Everyone who loves our wine, of course…
Corks and bottles – logistics squared
We’re always really excited and patient while we’re waiting for one of our new wines to hit the shelves, but this isn’t only dependent on our work – the bottling company, the authorities and the printing office are all important variables to factor in. In spring, we always start by bottling last year’s dry wines and we did the same thing this year. April saw our 2022 dry wines being prepped, which made it onto our wine list in June. The supply from these have already taken a hit during a short half year, but you can still find some on our webshop here.
We’ve suffered the difficulty of logistics and planning when it came to our other wines. With all the postponed deadlines to ensure we could bottle our wines properly, we found ourselves in October, being forced to make space in the cellar for the new yield. We planned at large and in these last moments we were able to finish up three smaller batches – our 2020 dry szamorodni, the 2021 late harvest Kövérszőlő, and our 2021 aszú. Once we were finished with the harvest, the 2022 oak-aged Furmint also made it into its bottle, and just before Christmas time, the 2021 sweet szamorodni had also made it.
So here towards the end, everything seems to be in place. But these next 2-3 months fly by quite quickly and we’ll have to do it all over again with last year’s wines which look very promising…
Friends and meetings – visiting activity in Tokaj
There is no day without guests here at our winery since we are open every day. That said, there were two extremely popular and cramped weekends which particularly made us work harder than ever. The first one was May 1st, the event called Tokaj Pezsgés (Tokaj Bubbling), which was made quite neat and lively by many of the local services. The other such weekend was during the Harvest Festival in Tokaj – on Saturday only, we’ve tallied a total of three-hundred visitors at our cellar.
Alongside these significant events, we are glad to remember all the other festivals and shows throughout the year and we’re looking forward to next year’s repertoire. The Wine Days in June, the Street Music Festival in September, the December Aszú Days, the programme schedule of the Fesztiválkatlan, and the musical shows and concerts of the Crescendo and Zempléni Festival are all events you should get into your calendar!
In August, Dalma joined us as a new colleague. We’re happy to have her, since we’ve been feeling slightly overwhelmed with all the incoming interest and visiting activity that keeps increasing over the years. You can meet her next time if you make an appointment for a tasting programme here.
Boxes and gadgets – being creative
Giftbox. It looks easy to say or write down in text and it is a basic and simple thing that all wineries provide along with their bottles of wine. But you have to know that after the creative process is done and it comes to creation itself, you’ll find yourself having spent an awfully large amount of time on such a seemingly simple product. The size, the dimensions, fine-tuning the material, the multiple confirmation of the graphical details and then finalising the product in the printer’s, sprinkled with some extra issues like lack of materials and it becomes apparent that it’s not a one-day job. Not to mention the minimum amount of ordered products, which can be quite costly for a smaller winery like ourselves and demands significant monetary investment. We’re over and through all that now, and we couldn’t be happier to be able to pack our wines in them.
Similar processes had to be finished before our logo-enhanced wine gadgets arrived in their final forms, coming all the way here from Spain. You can select and order some of your favourite useful things from our webshop.
Plans and plans – 2024
In conclusion, we couldn’t make everything happen as we wanted, not quite. But we’re sure we aren’t alone with that. Many of our projects are off to a great start and we can only hope and work for them to happen in 2024. Our greatest fault was perhaps the lack of communication when it came to the celebration of our 40th anniversary here in this little town. We couldn’t write all the stories we wanted, we couldn’t quite make time for some of those special celebratory tasting courses either. And this wasn’t because we were lazy or didn’t want to do all of that. With the constant guests visiting and wine being ordered all the time, our day-to-day issues grow more frequent and it’s tough to find time for everything.
But we’re not too down about it! Our main goal is always to provide useful information, a great time, and excellent wines to all our Friends, Visitors and Wine Enthusiasts who see us during the year. And we were pretty good at that.
Let’s kick off 2024 on that note. Hopefully we’ll see each other soon!
P.S. The report would be incomplete without the Best of Foltos 2023 album. Here you go.
Translated by Mara Várhelyi