Út a szőlőbe

Vineyard tour, winetasting, dinner

After having our first successful pop-up restaurant event in November 2016, we are inviting you again to join us for a laid-back winetasting and delicious, comforting dinner made by us.

If the weather is nice we will take a short walk in our frosty, quiet vineyards before the sun goes down. With this tour you may learn about the way we make wine starting from the vine.

During winetasting we will tell you more about how we decide on the style of our wines and say a few words about the characteristics of our vineyards.

The three-course dinner will be tuned especially to January vibes.

Wines

Pinot Noir "Gemini" Rosé 2013 Brut Nature
Kék bakator 2015
Rhein Riesling 2015
Pinot Noir "Virgo" 2014
Pinot Noir 2015
Rhein Riesling "Venus" 2013

The menu

Starter
Trout, red cabbage, dill

Main course
Duck, beets, buckwheat

Dessert
Sweet potato, sponge cake, hazelnuts

Local cheeses

The menu may vary according to seasonal changes.

Event details

January 28, 2017 / Saturday /

Vineyard tour (in case of nice weather): meeting at 2:45 p.m., the tour begins at 3:00 p.m. so we can enjoy the last rays of the sun before it goes down

Winetasting and dinner: from 6:00 p.m.

The duration of the program is about 4 hours including the tour. Regardless of weather conditions please wear warm, waterproof gear!

Registration

Winetasting and dinner: 10000 HUF per person if you reserve accomodation at us. Without accomodation the price is 14000 HUF per person.

We can only guarantee your reservation if you pay the price of the program ahead.

For more information about the program and accomodation, please contact us at info@benczebirtok.hu or call +36 30 212 7288.

2016

This year, at the very end of September we have finished harvest season by picking Rhein Riesling from our highest plot. Fortunately, we arrived just in time before the ugly autumn weather hit us. Moreover we had a hard time with birds, starlings this vintage. Thus leaving the fruit out in the vineyard to ripe would have been daring not only because of the weather conditions. So we are through an immensely challenging vintage. 2014 was equally tough on us, so this makes me wonder: will every even year be like this?

In January 2016, it was quite cold but by the end of the month when we started pruning it got up to 15°C. February was mild as well, but with unusual amount of rainfall. Our almond trees on the south side of the Szent György Hill started to blossom exceptionally early on February 23. By March the rains have stopped, the month was really warm and windy. After vintage 2015 we have experienced yet again a record-breaking heat wave. We finished the pruning wearing T-shirts.


Chenin Blanc after budbreak

In April the mild, windy spring weather continued, until one morning we have noticed rock-hard ice shield on our cars. When I went out to check the condition of our plots I noticed some shoots have been burnt by frost. This was in our Pinot Noir plot which lies the lowest on the hill. I didn’t know then, that this was only the beginning of the catastrophe. On April 26, 70% of our Pinot Noir vines have been strongly damaged by frost. The cold wave with -2 °C has burnt some of our highest plots as well, but not so severely.

According to the elderly who live in the region they haven’t experienced such a weather ever since they were born. The sad event made us wonder how to resolve this threat in the future. The ruthless frost has also hit other parts of Europe like Champagne, Burgundy, Austria and Switzerland. This photo was taken in a Swiss winery, where they stayed out all night tending the fires to keep the cold air coming from the Alps from settling down on the vineyard. This event has taken us by surprise and unprepared. Do we have to get ready to fight even more extreme weather conditions in the years to come?

Frost protection in Gantenbein Winery, Switzerland

We have picked all the frozen shoots from all the damaged vines to protect them from fungal diseases. Unfortunately this has not helped their condition, we had to accept the forthcoming crop loss. A few weeks later after the shock, the vines started to push new shoots, but they mostly developed foliage. At the end of May and the beginning of June, downy mildew has intensified and the young shoots were not able to protect themselves. Furthermore the weather turned unusually cold and rainy, with around 12°C daytime temperature. This also affected the blossom, unfortunately we were not able harvest any Bakator grape, due to its complicated pollination. Because of the same problem we didn’t pick any Cabernet Sauvignon this year.

Due to our ongoing transition to biodynamic farming (Demeter certification) we experimented with very low amounts of copper in our sprays, which didn’t seem to do any good to the Pinot Noir this vintage. Even though we have suffered a lot of damage this year, we have also learnt a lot and gained more experience in plant protection. Although the frost and using restricted amount of copper we have managed to harvest good quality Rhein Riesling and Chenin Blanc.

The summer was rainy, almost tropical. This year downy mildew was intensive until the end of August, but powdery mildew was unimportant. In July we were hit by two hailstorms: the first wasn’t too bad, but the second got lethal. We were lucky enough to have some foliage left after the hailstorm of 120 kph. The leaves that we were left with looked like as if they were shot by thousands of bullets.

At the end of July, we suffered from a heat wave causing very high humidity, then black rot has appeared in lower parts of our plantations. This has no organic remedy at the moment, so we had to wait out the crop loss.

Our Rhein Riesling in 2016

The first part of September was warm and dry. The acidity level of the berries were high, phenolic components matured quite early this year. We started the harvest season on September 7 with the remainders of Pinot Noir. This was made into base wine for rosé sparkling wine. The crop which was selected by nature resulted in a concentrated wine which is at the moment in amphoras for ageing.

The Chenin Blanc which was planted in spring of 2014, had its first harvest on September 14. We experienced a huge drop in acidity levels due to the warm autumn. Unfortunately the clusters were very warm when they arrived to be pressed, but we hope you will not be able to tell this when tasting it.

This was our 4th vintage with Rhein Riesling. Compared to 2015 this year’s wines are even more focused with lively acidity and a moderate 12.2 vol.% alcohol level. We wish to make even better wine than in 2015.

Still hoping for the best!

/ Istvan Bencze /

Walking, Tasting and Dinner in November

On 19th of November we invite you for an autumn walk in the vineyards, a tasting and a dinner! If the weather is nice we walk around our plots, we listen to the nature, we tell how we work in the whole year, how we make our wines in the vineyards. After the walk we taste, we talk about winemaking, styles, balance and the personality of our plots. We finish the tasting with a dinner, four courses, which we tuned to autumn and the coming winter.

The tasting

Rhein riesling "Riesling" 2015
Rhein riesling "Aries" 2013
Piros bakator 2015
Pinot Noir 2013
Cabernet Sauvignon 2013
Rhein riesling "Venus" 2013
+ other surprises!

The menu

Appetizer
Cheese selection

First course
Beetroot, lentil, pumpkin

Main course
Boeuf bourguignon, carrot

Dessert
Panna cotta, grape, pine

Because of the seasonality of the local ingredients we may change the menu!

Reservation

The fee of the tasting and the dinner: with booking of one of our guesthouses it is 10.000 HUF / person, without booking 14.000 Ft / person.

The full length of the event is 4 hours with the walk. In case of nice weather please prepare with water resistant, warm clothing!

For the reservation and booking please write us on the address info@benczebirtok.hu or call us on the number +36 30 212 7288!

Places where our wines are available

On the tastings we had several questions about places in Budapest and Hungary where our wines are available. We made this list now and we will refresh it monthly. At the bottom of this page you can find our pickup points where you can pick up your orders of more the 6 bottles from us sent in e-mail or phone.

Calendar


DemiJohn Premiere
27/09/2016 15:00-18:00  DROP SHOP - Wine Bar
Balassi Bálint utca 27., Budapest, Hungary, 1055
https://www.facebook.com/events/176611976080241/
You can taste the followings of our new wines: Talált szőlő 2015, Rajnai rizling "Riesling" 2015, Piros bakator 2015, Pinot Noir "Virgo" 2014, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013

Olaszrizling Október Tasting
08/10/2016 14:00  Corinthia Hotel Budapest
http://olaszrizlingoktober.hu/kiallitok
You can taste the followings of our rieslings: Rajnai rizling "Riesling" 2015, Rajnai rizling 2013, Rajnai rizling "Venus" 2013

Terroir Club - Autumn Open Tasting
11/10/2016 17:00-20:00 Terroir Club, Csillaghegyi út 13., Budapest, Hungary, 1037
https://www.facebook.com/events/328729464146861/
You can taste the followings of our new wines: Talált szőlő 2015, Rhein riesling "Riesling" 2015, Piros bakator 2015

Walking, tasting and dinner in November
19/11/2016 15:00  In the estate, Hegymagas, Szent György-hegy
http://www.benczebirtok.hu/en/blog/dinner-november
On 19th of November we invite you for an autumn walk in the vineyards, a tasting and a dinner! If the weather is nice we walk around our plots, we listen to the nature, we tell how we work in the whole year, how we make our wines in the vineyards. After the walk we taste, we talk about winemaking, styles, balance and the personality of our plots. We finish the tasting with a dinner, four courses, which we tuned to autumn and the coming winter.
You can taste the followings of our wines: Rhein riesling "Riesling" 2015, Rhein riesling "Aries" 2013, Piros bakator 2015, Pinot Noir 2013, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Rhein riesling "Venus" 2013 + other surprises!

Dinner in Pura Vida
08/12/2016 18:00 Pura Vida Wine & Dine Étterem, Tapolca, Fő tér 6-8.
https://www.facebook.com/events/210233752748136/
Reservation: +36 87 687 080
You can taste the followings of our wines: Piros Bakator Brut Nature 2013, Rhein Riesling "Riesling" 2015, Pinot Noir Blanc de Noirs "Virgo" 2014, Pinot Noir 2013, Cabernet Sauvignon 2013, Rhein Riesling "Venus" 2013

Almond bloom

The post will be translated soon.

Spring calendar 2016

We have collected all the events where you can meet us and taste our wines this spring. Furthermore, our experimental, still maturing wines will truly please those being keen on getting to know us better.

24th February, Three Winemaker Night in ETAP - Meinklang, Dávid Borház, Bencze Birtok
Evening 19.00 - 21.30
ETAP, 7th district, Király utca 43-45.
https://www.facebook.com/events/1109136675783866/

3-5th March, VinCE Budapest
Every day: 11.00 - 20.00
Corinthia Hotel Budapest 7th district, Erzsébet krt 43-47.
http://vincebudapest.hu/en/

11th March, Wine Club, Salgótarján
Starts at 18.00
Address: 3100 Salgótarján, Kassai sor 26.
Contact: +36 30 924 2638, tarjanborhaz@upcmail.hu

6th April, Badacsony in New York, winetasting
Tasting for the press: 15.00 – 16.00
Tasting for all guests: 16.00 – 21.00
New York-palota / Boscolo Budapest 1073 Budapest, Erzsébet krt. 9.
http://kostolo.badacsony.com/

Vintage retrospective

Torridity, rainstorm, much more work, experiment, surprise, restart... These words come to my mind when I look back to this vintage. Swallowed in the thick fog the vines fell into a deep sleep. In the silence there is a breathing space to give account of the vintage 2015.

Around the new year's eve of 2014 the days bring a hard winter with -15 Celsius, however the rough weather stays for only some days. Of course in connection with the fight against the diseases we had much more fortunate winter than after vintage 2013. Wondrously we have much more snow as well!

On the 10th of March our first almond trees burst into bloom, in these days we finish the pruning. April is calm without frost damage, in our vineyards bud burst starts on 10th of April. After the dry and sunny April in May rainy days come to be of assistance to our fresh planting.

On the first day of June a tropical, vaporous swelter breaks the pleasant weather. In the early morning the wetness are flowing from the leaves, during the day the temperature rises around 31-35 Celsius. After some day the unpleasant wetness turns to dry and hot till the beginning of August.

In July more heat wave reach us, the drought becomes to be a considerable problem. The young vines planted in May should be watered where the soil is more sandy and not able to store the water in itself. There are advantages of the drought: the grape is perfectly healthy, we have to spray only a little and at important moments and in the end of the month we finish spraying completely. In August the extremity culminates: we have a rainstorm more than 100 millimeters of rain in some hours. As it comes it goes, the water flows down from the hill fast and crushes the vineyards and causes big damages everywhere.

The persistent sizzling heat means a serious trial for the vines, the ripening and the process of gathering the sugar in the grapes stops, the acidity starts to decrease quickly. After the middle of September when the nights bring some refreshment, the vines wake up and try to make up their lagging. Then in the first part of October one week of rain shuffles the deck, the quality of the grapes, aromas and acidity fall big altogether.

Choosing a precise harvest date wasn't an easy task in this year accordingly but we observed some recognition and brand new thoughts came. Every year is different but in this year as well we could make some steps on the way of the full cognition of our vineyards.

The fermentation of our wines from the vintage 2015 with only one exception has already finished, they settle nicely and the aging has been already started in different vats. They show amazing colorful personality! I always open the cellar door with a big excitement! I have never felt so much focus, layers and clear-out in our young wines like now.

Sometimes an interesting thought appears in my head: I feel as if it is not only us who are trying to get closer to knowing our vineyards. In its own motion the vines make some silent steps towards us in every year. They say thank you for our help and attention, open out slowly and show their real personality, finesse and deepness.

/ István Bencze /

Where can you meet us this spring?

So our spring calendar:

14th February
Borjour Magnum 2015, Millenáris, Budapest
http://borjour.hu/borjour-magnum-2015/

19th March
Spa & Wine 2015, Zichy Palace, Bratislava

26th March
Badacsony New Yorkban, New York Palota, Budapest
http://www.badacsony.com/hu/hirek/badacsony-new-yo...

20th April
Interactive presentation and tasting as one the „Bor és Kultúra” event series
University of Szeged, Auditorium 'TTK', Egyetem street 2., first floor

In summer and autumn because of the works around the vineyards we goes much more less so don't hesitate to come!

2014

Végre elindult oldalunk! Új helyet kapott az a blog is, melyet 2013 májusában kezdtem írni "Út a szőlőbe" címmel. Visszaolvasva régi bejegyzéseimet gyakran elmosolyodok. Elképzeléseim arról, hogy hogyan kell szőlőt művelni és bort készíteni azóta nagyon sokat finomodtak, sok gyakorlati tapasztalattal egészültek ki. Azt is tudom, hogy a mostani állapot sem végleges, de ez így is van rendjén, így lesz mindörökké! Nehéz összefoglalni néhány mondatban, hogy mi is történt körülöttünk az utolsó bejegyzés óta eltelt majdnem egy évben, de most megpróbálom, következzen egy rövid összefoglaló 2014-ről!

2014 januárjára kierjedt minden borunk, néhány már a palackozásra is készen állt. Ekkor szembesültünk először azzal, hogy hány lépést is kell még megtennünk ahhoz, hogy egy borunk forgalomba kerülhessen. Sajnos, mivel végleges pincénk építése sokat csúszik, jónéhány tételt messzebbre kellett vinnünk palackozásra, ez néha komoly logisztikával is járt. Sajnáltam a borokat, tartályokban oda, palackban vissza, minden egyes mozgatást kínként éltünk meg.

Ráadásul a palackozásnál sok feltételhez alkalmazkodnunk kellett, melyeket egyébként érthető módon a palackozó üzem a biztonság miatt szabott meg. A borokat általában jobban meg kellett szűrnünk, mint amennyire szerettem volna ahhoz, hogy az biztosan rendben legyen. Szerencsére a boraink olyannyira vitálisak voltak, hogy ezeken a megpróbáltatásokon keresztül is észlelhető az az egyéniség, ami a kezdetektől fogva jellemezte őket. Mindenesetre nagyon várom azt a pillanatot, amikor már a saját pincénkben tudjuk ezeket a lépéseket megtenni, majd pedig évről-évre elkezdünk kísérletezni azzal, hogy hogyan lehet minél jobban elkerülni a szűrést, és hogy még kevesebb ként adhassunk a borainkhoz.

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