We hit the road to Tokaj once again. Although we knew there was little wine made in the vintage we felt that Tokaj deserved as much for us to check out the wines of such an adverse vintage.
2014 will remain in our memory as a difficult vintage, to nurture the quality, less wine is produced. The year was a challenge for the grape growers and winemakers of Tokaji, but for us it sometimes brings surprises. Apart from the dry wines, we also selected some sweets and aszús which have brought us great experiences recently. What happened exactly in 2014? Besides the winemakers, just as we also did last year, we again asked Dr. Zoltán Bihari from the Tarcal Research Institute.
The year started milder than usual and the vegetation period started half a month earlier. The spring saw little rainfall and was warm. Blossoming started earlier which was then slowed down by a cooler, wetter period. The beginning of the summer was especially dry, although the weather didn’t cause heat stress for the grapes. Everything was going fine, when in July the trouble started. The foliage and the summer twigs were torn by storms. The rainfall was almost double the average, while the temperature was as per usual. The warm, sunny weather and lots of rain helped the development of the plants, but the high humidity favoured fungal diseases such as powdery mildew, downy mildew and grey rot. The conditions saw the stepping up of green work and plant protection. August was relatively dry but by the end of the month the temperature fell to autumnal levels, which resulted in dew at dawn and further infections. Vinegarisation started within the berries in many cases. However, where the grapes were resistant and when people waited for longer, they were able to select nice aszú berries during the second half of the autumn.
Overall, growers harvested one-fifth of the usual amount.
*Tokaji Borvidék Szőlészeti és Borászati Kutatóintézet – Tarcal