REPLANTING HANGÁCS VINEYARD – THE NEXT BIG PROJECT
This is a dream coming true. After clearing the overgrown jungle-like land, we have uncovered a superb large plot with small terraces, a higher plateau at the top and south-, southwest aspect. The future looks exciting indeed.
History – premier cru since the first classification in 1732
Always regarded as one of the top vineyards in the Tokaj Wine Region, Hangács was designated first growth in every classification. A vineyard since at least 16th century, it was generally part of great estates, including those of Hungarian poet Bálint Balassi. The last owner before nationalisation, Baron Harkányi, founded the sugar factory in nearby Szerencs.
We already have some vines in the lower area of Hangács. And we are preparing to plant the top plot which was ripped out in the 1960s. Why was it abandoned? Probably because some places were difficult to cultivate due to the steepness and the terraces, or due to lack of access to the plateau higher up. The last picture we know of where it is still a vineyard is an aerial photo taken in 1962-3.
Work to date
We have finished clearing the land of bushes and small trees. The next step will be to remove the roots and prepare the soil. We will decide the replanting in consultation with soil, planting and vineyard enhancement experts.
While the soil is resting following the scrub clearance, we will repair some terrace walls and create the access roads.
Soils – excellent for vines
Sampling confirms this volcanic rocky ground to be one of the noble soils of Tokaj. Based on rhyolite tuff with rich zeolite content, this excellent vineyard soil has magnesium and clay, layers of loess in some places and many volcanic stones. What is particularly unusual for the area is the limestone which can give freshness to the wine. The soil is the perfect depth for planting; it is generally not very deep, getting deeper lower down the slope. As it has rested for over 50 years, it has great structure, some organic materials and has had no chemical applications.
The vines – planting to begin in 2017
The majority will be Furmint, the quality clone 7275 which is closer to the older types of F clones than those used generally today. Not as productive as the common T85 and T92, it has relatively small bunches and gives outstanding flavours. We will also plant vines which we have been selecting every October from our old vines in Dorgó vineyard planted in 1952. Roughly 10 % of the site will be planted with small-bunch Hárslevelű, also from our own Dorgó selection.
Environmental considerations at the fore
We will keep about 10% of the site in its natural state, including the ancient almond trees which love the limestone – as well as the fact that, being at the top, there is no risk of frost. And for visitors this is a great place for a picnic with a view in summer.
LIFE AT DISZNÓKŐ 29/09/2016