Introducing Kövérszőlő to the United States

Sarolta Bárdos
Sarolta Bárdos

Sarolta Bárdos of Tokaj Nobilis Szőlőbirtokot

Born and raised in Tokaj, Sarolta embodies a strong maternal sensibility coupled with a keen sense of the changes and challenges facing probably the best known, but arguably most forgotten wine region in the world – Tokaj-Hegyalja. Beginning her career studying at the University of Horticulture in Budapest, she also took advantage of the recently fallen Iron Curtain and spent time in France, Italy and Spain.

Upon returning to Hungary, she worked at Gróf Degenfeld and soon after became the inaugural winemaker at Béres Winery in nearby Erdőbénye overseeing 45 ha of vineyards. Preferring closer attention to detail and the total knowledge inherent in small-scale winemaking, she left and planted her own 6 ha in 1999. In 2005 a traditional 19th century house was converted into a winery and cellar in the middle of the town of Bodrogkeresztúr, 5 kilometres from Tokaj. She grows mostly Furmint along with Hárslevelű, Muscat and Kövérszőlő.

Terroir and Bread
Terroir and bread always served when tasting in Tokaj

Kövérszőlő, also known as Fehérszőlő (the fat grape) originated in Transylvania but also found a home in Tokaji and in neighboring Romania. In the mid 1800’s Phylloxera nearly wiped it out, but a few plantings survived and it’s slowly making a comeback thanks to a handful of growers. Big berried, early ripening, and high in potential sugar made it historically ideal for Aszú production, but with extensive pruning, crop management, and picking early, Botrytis (Noble Rot) can be avoided.

Aging Kövérszőlő
Bottles of aging Kövérszőlő

Planted in mineral rich rhyolite tuff soils, hand-picked, fermented with native yeasts in used Hungarian Oak, and with no added sulfur until bottling, the wine is greenish in color, honeyed without the weight you’d expect, and possess all of the characteristic spice and salinity of Tokaji. This is the resurrection of one of the oldest grapes in the oldest wine appellation in the world.

Homemade “Palócleves” served during our visit

We will receive a very small amount of this wine by the end of September. Please contact for pricing and availability.

2008 Kövérszőlő
2008 Tokaj Nobilis Kövérszőlő

2 thoughts on “Introducing Kövérszőlő to the United States”

  1. Always happy to receive a new reader! There is so much yet to be explored, relationships to be built, and then wine to be brought back to the US from Tokaji. We’ll try and keep you posted. Out of curiosity, where are you writing us from?

  2. I’m happy to see this wine in your shop. Tokaj Nobilis is one of our best wineries in Hungary.
    Altough this wine is sweet, it is still a great choice for many dishes (e.g. roasted cheese, chicken with curry souce)

    Kind regards from Hungary

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