OWNER | Marta Wille-Baumkauff.
BACKGROUND | Marta Wille-Baumkauff, who had always wanted to make Tokaji, took the opportunity after the fall of socialism in her native Hungary to acquire the renowned cellars of Flórián Bilicki in Abaújszántó with her German husband (who died in 2000) and their three sons.
VINEYARDS | 2009 10 hectares/24.5 acres. 50% Furmint. 50% Hárslevelü, Muscat de Lunel (Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains), Zéta, Kövérszölö and Kabar. Many of the vineyards are on terraces which had to be restored before any replanting could take place.
CRUS | Bátori (Tállya), Fels, Bea (Abaújszántó), Krakó (Abaújszántó) and Pendits (Abaújszántó). The south-facing Pendits vineyard in Abaújszántó is one of Tokaji’s most renowned, and was mentioned among the first growths in the 1867 Tokaj-Hegyalja Album, the definitive survey of “The Foothills”.
BIODYNAMICS | Marta Wille-Baumkauff says “My three sons went to a Waldorf kindergarten and school in Braunschweig (Germany), so I got quite familiar both with Rudolf Steiner’s ideas and Biodynamic practices, since the children were taught Biodynamic gardening at school. In Tokaj we never used fertilizers, herbicides or pesticides but we did use systemic fungicides, stopping in 2005 when we became certified organic. My son Stefan, who joined me in Tokaji 2005, has been working at Heyl zu Herrnsheim in kerstein and at Nikolaihof in Austria where he learned a lot about Biodynamic winemaking. We never had a consultant. If we had questions we asked Nicolas Joly of Château de la Roche aux Moines in the Loire, Christine Saahs of Nikolaihof in Austria, Jean-Michel Deiss of Domaine Marcel Deiss in Alsace, and Marie-Thérèse Chappaz of Domaine la Liaudisaz in Switzerland. We do not make the Biodynamic preparations ourselves (it is prohibited to take horns from a slaughterhouse in Hungary). The first Biodynamic preparations we used were purchased from Christian von Wistinghausen in Germany who gave me instructions how to use them. Later on my son Stefan went to make the preparations in Austria with a group of people we knew, including Werner Michlits of Meinklang for example. We use the Maria Thun calendar and try to arrange vineyard work according to the optimal celestial cycles. We hand stir [dynamize] spray preparations ourselves. I collect wild plants like stinging nettle, willow and so on for teas. We bottle wines on fruit days. We do all soil work with horses, it takes more time but they are very precise and can plough far closer to a vine than a tractor can. We make Biodynamic compost from the manure of our sheep with lesser amounts of the horse manure which in Biodynamics is seen as somewhat ‘hot’.”
CERTIFICATION | 2005 Official conversion to certified organic practices begins. Full organic certification from the 2008 vintage (the first in the Tokaj region). 2011 Full Demeter Biodynamic certification for the first time for all 10 hectares (24.7 acres)
VINTAGE CONDITIONS | See Tokaji for Marta Wille-Baumkauff’s observations on its recent vintages.
TOKAJI, DIOLOG | Semi-dry. / 2009 50% Furmint (barrel fermented) + 50% Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains (tank). Wild yeast. 2,500 bottles. Slightly aromatic, lovely savoury fruit, good body at the Real Wine Fair, London Tuesday 22nd May 2012.
TOKAJI FURMINT, KRAKÓ | The Krakó vineyard, classified as first growth in 1867, is situated on a western slope on the Krakó hill near the small city of Abaújszántó. The Furmint grapes grow on terraces, enjoying a specific microclimate. The vineyard produces wines with a herbal character on the nose. The grapes are harvested by hand in small cases, only the healthy, ripe berries are selected. The bunches are destemmed and pressed in a pneumatic press. We ferment the must in barrels of Hungarian oak on the own indigenous yeasts and age the wine for 12-18 months. Very little sulfur is used. 2009 Wild yeast ferment. 12 months in barrel. 1,400 bottles. 12.5% alcohol + 1.8 g/l RS. Odd nose, but lovely body, dry and yeasty at the Real Wine Fair, London Tuesday 22nd May 2012.
TOKAJI FURMINT, HOLDVÖLGY | From a single vineyard in Mád called “Holdvölgy”. Vines planted 1971. The subsoil is volcanic, while top soil is rich in clay and tuff. The grapes are harvested by hand in small cases, only the healthy, ripe berries are selected. The bunches are destemmed and pressed in a pneumatic press. The must ferments wild in Hungarian oak barrels and ages 12-18 months in barrel. Very little sulfur is used. 2006 14% + 4g/l RS.
Pendits Kft, Béke út 111 / H-3881 Abaújszántó, Hungary / +36 20 3170 966 / firstname.lastname@example.org / www.pendits.com