- 12 Mar 2015 8:01 AM
Unique barrel lots to go under the hammer
Leading Tokaj wineries submitted samples of their best barrels for blind tasting by the Confrérie de Tokaj Wine Committee on 14th January. Members tasted wines from dry Furmint and Hárslevelű, late harvest, sweet and dry Szamorodni to Tokaji Aszú. The wines, most still in the barrel, will be bottled for delivery to the buyer – by the next Great Tokaj Wine Auction at the latest, their development followed by the Confrérie de Tokaj Wine Committee.
The Confrérie Wine Committee
The group of respected wine educators, writers and consultants is responsible for the quality of Great Tokaj Wine Auction wines and follows their journey from a blind tasting through to bottling. By stating that a wine is suitable for the auction, they take responsibility for a wine being of the quality suitable for the Auction. Responsibility for the producer, the wine, the vintage, the ageing potential and the wine’s uniqueness.
Buyers at the Great Tokaj Wine Auction
The wines, which deserve to catch the attention of the most dedicated wine lovers throughout the world, are only available at the Great Tokaj Wine Auction so successful bidders become the exclusive owner. Hence the interest from Michelin-starred restaurants as well as international collectors and wine merchants who are eager to acquire them. Buyers have hailed from far afield, including China, the US, the UK and France. Bidding is in person and by telephone.
- groups: organised before the Auction, also using the Facebook page, join together at the Auction
- restaurants: to procure a unique wine that nowhere else can offer
- 50 % of buyers were resident outside Hungary in the first two Auctions
- in 2014 company purchases were significant, and Hungarian companies bought with foreign partners
Producers at the Great Tokaj Wine Auction
Both established wineries and smaller up-and-coming producers, Hungarian and foreign-owned, have offered lots at previous Great Tokaj Wine Auctions. In 2015 wines are from Barta, Béres, Bodnár, Demetervin, Disznókő, Füleky, Kvaszinger, Mádi Borház –Baranyai Béla, Pajzos-Megyer, Samuel Tinon, Szent Benedek, Szent Tamás, Szepsy, Tokaj-Hétszőlő, Tokaj Trading House and Zsirai.
The aim of the Great Tokaj Wine Auction
Tokaji Aszú has long been a legendary wine, the “Wine of Kings and the King of Wines”, and as Hugh Johnson said, iconic wines, such as Tokaji, Port and Champagne, need time to be explained and understood. This exposure is part of the mission of the Confrérie de Tokaj, to promote the wines of this unique volcanic area and to assist on their journey to rightful recognition. As István Szepsy, Seigneur de Vin, explained after the 2014 Auction, “The aim is to create premium category based on terroir. This auction offered a great opportunity for the market to react to unique quality offered by a terroir. And I believe something has begun.”
The charitable aspect
The Confrérie de Tokaj reserves 40 % of the price excluding VAT price to stage the auctions and to preserve and rebuild the Tokaj Wine Region. Thus buyers have the satisfaction of knowing that, in addition to procuring an exclusive Tokaji wine, they are also supporting this UNESCO World Cultural Heritage region.
Tokaj Spring event
The Great Tokaj Wine Auction is the central event of the Tokaj Spring weekend, a three-day programme which offers guests an insider’s view into the wonderful world of Tokaj. The blind tasting of all the Auction lots is a once in a lifetime chance to taste the best barrel wines before they are sold to buyers around the world. There are numerous opportunities to meet the winemakers - at dinners or on a vineyard tour - to discover more, ask questions and find out insider information about this legendary wine region. The event helps Tokaj lovers explore together this dynamically emerging world that is moving forth with confidence of its excellent wines and increasing knowledge of the terroir. A great opportunity to share time and wine open to all. This year the celebration of Tokaj Spring will be 24th to 26th April 2015.
The Confrérie de Tokaj
The Confrérie de Tokaj members include producers, wine professionals and wine lovers committed to promoting the legendary Tokaj Wine Region, perhaps the first closed wine region in the world and part of UNESCO World Cultural Heritage since 2002. The Confrérie aims to represent the Tokaj Wine Region in Hungary and abroad, promoting the historic wine region and its wines.
The Confrérie gathers together all those who wish to contribute to the development of the legendary Tokaj Wine Region. Most of the founding members of the Confrérie are leading Tokaj wine producers, particularly those who believe in distinct terroirs and the exceptional character of wines produced here. However, membership is open to all people who feel committed to the Tokaj Wine Region and would like to actively participate in the work and events of the Confrérie. These bonds are strengthened by the annual Tokaj Spring event and the monthly members’ lunches.
FRIDAY 24th APRIL 2015
10.15 Coffee and cake reception for guests in the Royal Waiting Hall, Budapest Nyugati Railway Station (dress code - informal - comfortable shoes,
Confrérie members - scarf)
10.50 * TOKAJ ORIENT EXPRESS - sponsored by ALPLAN Kft and Ferenc Gelencsér. Lunch and wine tasting on the train.
Between Mezőzombor and Tokaj - presentation by Prof. András Nagymarosy
about the history of the vineyards in the Tokaj Wine Region
15.00 Arrival in Tokaj
15.30 Guided tour in the vineyards with the winemakers:
Mád vineyards with István Szepsy
Olaszliszka vineyards organised by Amici Vinorum Olaszliszka Friends of Wine
Hétszőlő vineyards with Tamás Oroszlán
17.30 Bus transfer to hotels
18.40 Bus transfer from hotels (dress code - informal)
19.00 Aperitif at the Disznókő Filagória, then wine tasting and dinner at Disznókő
SATURDAY 25th APRIL 2015
9.30- Bus transfer from hotels to Sárospatak Castle (dress code - informal - comfortable shoes, warm jumper, Confrérie members - scarf)
10.30 Blind tasting of the auction lots in the Sárospatak Castle
12.30 Picnic lunch - food by Anyukám mondta with wines from participating wineries
14.30 - 16.00 GREAT TOKAJ WINE AUCTION
16.00- Bus transfer to hotels
18.40 Bus transfer from hotels (dress code - formal dress - dark suit,
Confrérie members - scarf)
19:00 Gala dinner dance at Gusteau Mád with a performance by Katalin Gémes, opera singer and initiation ceremony of Confrérie de Tokaj members
Bus transfer to hotels after the gala dinner
SUNDAY 26th APRIL 2015
10.30- Wine tasting at the wineries
Source and more information: tokajiborlovagrend.hu