Website: Füleky Winery
Country Location: Hungary
The wines from Füleky are as stunning as ever under the direction of current winemaker György Brezovcsik
The people.Blue Danube visited Tokaj for the very first time in 2003. One of the people we were seeking out was Judit Bodó who was then working at Füleky. We tried the Aszú and late harvest wines then and we’re very impressed. Shortly thereafter Judit left Füleky and started her own winery called Bott with her husband Jozséf that we’ve been importing for several years. We lost track of Füleky. Over a decade later and having visited Füleky again recently, the wines are as stunning as ever under the direction of current winemaker György Brezovcsik. The 25 acre estate has an incredible array of historic vineyard sites that simply cannot be ignored. The history of the estate also dates back to György Füleky who was the founder of the First Tokaj Wine Growers’ Society.
The 18th Century Baroque winery sits at the center of the town of Bodrogkeresztúr and went under a serious modern renovation in 2011. Using local stones, oak, modern concrete, and keeping the fidelity of the historical estate, the current winery won the Industrial Building of the Year 2011 award in the online poll of ArchDaily.com, the world’s most popular architecture website.
This sense of aesthetic and attention to detail translates into the flow of the winery, cellar and the precision of the late harvest and Aszù wines.
In the vineyards. Founded in 1998, the Füleky estate owns 25 hectares of some of the best historical vineyards in the region. Making dry, late harvest and Aszú wines, the distance from the Bodrog River in tandem with the marshlands is key. This is where the moisture comes from during the Indian summers creating the perfect environment for Botrytis. Vineyards sites include Teleki on Tokaj Hill. Vinnai, Bakonyi, Dobai, and Mestervölgy near the town of Tarcal. Úrágya, Király, and Veresek near the town of Mád. Somos near the town of Szegi. Sajgó near the winery in Bodrogkeresztúr. And finally Palandor near the town of Olaszliszka.
In the cellar. Healthy (not botrytized) grapes are hand harvested into small bins to prevent premature fermentation and then quickly transported to the winery. These fresh grapes used for the base wine and fermented dry in stainless steel. The Aszú (botrytis infected) berries are hand picked berry by berry until being mashed into a thick paste. This sweet paste will be macerated into the dry wine for roughly 2-3 days. After maceration, the wines must spend a minimum of 2 years in Hungarian oak barrel.
Although the Puttonyos system has been recently abolished, this 2007 still adheres to this system. The more puttonyos (literally, ‘baskets’) of Aszú fruit (roughly 25kg) added to the base wine, the sweeter and more complex the wine. 6 Puttonyos is the highest level of concentration. For the late harvest, healthy, over-ripened and partly botrytized berries are picked at the same time, fermented in stainless steel, and spend up to 6 months aging in Hungarian oak barrels.