I’ve probably kicked the dirt in a few hundred vineyards in my lifetime and yes, after a while, like walking thru a Barrel Room, strolling between the vines can tend to take on a sense of sameness.
That however, was not the case when I visited with Christian Sauska (pictured together here ) a few weeks ago high above one of his vast terroir-driven vineyards in Tokaji, Hungary.
This region in northeast Hungary has to be one of the wine world’s best kept secrets!
The vineyards rising hundreds of feet above picturesque, quaint petite villages, are steeped in history, and inhabited with humble, passionate farmers. It is simply magical!
And lest you think this little corner of the world is only about sweet dessert wines, think again! The dry whites, made from the Furmint grape, have knocked chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, and even my most recent varietal obsession, Roussanne, aside.
And a “sleeper“wine for Hungary is pinot noir.
Very little of this fickle grape is currently being exported outside the country, but plantings are up and for fans of Burgundy and New Zealand’s leaner styles, you’re going to be very pleasantly surprised when you taste Sauska’s pinots…
And like the mighty phoenix, might fabulous Hungarian sparkling wines again rise from the ashes? (Football size caves, untouched for many decades, lie just outside of Budapest’s downtown area.)
I give it 3-5 years before the critics, Somm’s, and wine warriors, come crawling to Hungary for their bubbles!
For those of you fortunate enough to live in Florida and Connecticut, Sauska Wines are available there. For the rest of you, they are diligently working on US distribution.
In the meantime, call me. Not that I need an excuse, but I’d be glad to pull a cork or two of Sauska wines for you!
Eat, drink, and be merry!