What is the difference between Tokaji Aszú and Tokaji Edes (sweet) Szamorodni wines?
The differences lie in the picking, the vinification and the style of these two wines.
During harvest, grapes for the Szamorodni wines are picked in whole bunches whereas the grapes for the Aszú wines are picked berry by berry.
As for the vinification, the Szamorodni wines are pressed directly prior to fermentation similar to other sweet wines of the world (Sauternes, Beerenauslesen etc.) For Tokaji Aszú the aszú grapes are kept in large vats before being incorporated into a fermenting must or a new wine; their extreme concentration and rich consistency require a unique method of winemaking with skin contact similar to red wine making.
This makes the Tokaji Aszú wines superbly complex and intricately structured. The Édes (Sweet) Szamorodni wines are lighter in style with the unmistakable notes of Botrytis.