Monday, 11 June 2012

A budding community

of people happy to see each other again. The human ability to make connections and build relationships - and the joy this brings was clear from the moment I arrived yesterday. Smiling faces of producers greeted me and were on their faces when bid their goodbyes.

And I love this...

I would like to share a few gems I heard yesterday, the third market...

"It is so great to see each other again"

"I love my necklace and wear it every market. She is making matching earrings for me too."

"How wonderful that at last something is happening here in the Tokaj region and we need not wait for the state to do it." (This is expressed by many.)

"The quality of the goods is so high - there is no kitsch or plastic" - and we aim to keep it this way with a careful selection process (4 of the 7 organisers have to agree)

"My son loves cycling, so he goes out to the forest to collect the blackberries, sloes and elderflower. And I am still fit enough to go up the hills, down into the valleys - and I love it. We do not write that our jams and syrups are organic, but we know the fruits come from clean areas because we harvest them all."

"The market will soon outgrow itself" - so we will make some more space in the carpark to extend the area (and the police and their transport expert will join us this week to work out the best way to organise the traffic)

And from the volunteer community police woman whose face was shining after wandering around, who comes from the extremely deprived neighbouring village, "My mother crochets, my son is a smith and my daughter does embroidery. How can we join?"

Saturday, 2 June 2012

10 Years as part of the World Heritage

The Tokaj Wine Region has been part of the World Heritage, a Historic Cultural Landscape, since 2002, thus we thought it appropriate to celebrate this with the market too. Dr András Takacs, head of the Tokaj-Hegyalja Programme Office, will lead a talk and discussion relating to the region's past, present and future, held in the cool of the historic cellar under the Wine Boutique.

We will also be joined by master smiths and a cooper demonstrating their crafts, as well as a keen ornithologist who will offer his knowledge - and his telescope! There's a play area for children and the chance to explore the splendid Disznókő estate (on your own or on a guided tour that will take you up through the vineyards and then down into cellars both new and old).

Of course, a fair is not a fair without music - this time a player of the traditional tárogató (similar to a clarinet), and no less than two accordion players - one of them accompanied by a sweet voice. What a treat! As is the wine tasting which promises to be a real gem, reaching much further back into the past, linking past and present, founded upon the first vineyard classification in the world which happened here in this region in the 1730s. Significant areas of Disznókő vineyards, for example, were then classified as premier cru / first growth.

The blend of old and new... Reinventing the past - or a contemporary interpretation? It's for you to experience.

Friday, 1 June 2012

"Hetedhéthatár" single-vineyard wines talk and tasting

Ever wanted to know more about single vineyard wines? Well, here is your chance. Tokaji wine expert László Alkonyi, author of several influential books about the region and blogger, has just released his most recent work, a guidebook and map to the vineyards of the Tokaji Wine Region - the first place in the world where a system of vineyard classification was introduced (in the 1730s!). László will open the tasting at 11am with a short talk, and together with his map he will help us better understand the mysteries of terroir, and its influence on the wines. The title? Hetedhéthatár refers to a mythical land, so it's certainly appropriate for the magical land of Tokaj.

László suggested a number of superb wineries, large and small, to invite to the Tokaj-Hegyalja Tasting (held in parallel with the Tokaj-Hegyalja Market) on the 10th June. We are delighted to announce that the following will be joining us:
AZ Nektar

We are very excited. What a wonderful opportunity to meet the winemakers who will present their single vineyard wines! A shared space for us to taste some of the best the land has to offer - with a little help from skilled hands too, of course.

It promises to be a wonderful tasting, so do come and join us if you can.

Date -10th June 2012
Time - 11am - 3pm (the market is from 10am to 5pm)
Venue - the Sárga Borház Restaurant function room at the Disznókő estate