Reusable Stuff – Dedicated & Passionate Winemakers

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In the world of blogging anything but the latest post on a site seems less attractive amongst readers. That’s a pity – at least when an article is putting little focus on just a specific wine but instead highlighting a producer or a region. Time to recycle a few. Time to remind ourselves of the sometimes tough life the quality driven wine producers encounters on a daily basis and why they keep on doing this. Here’s to dedicated and passionate wine people!

“On the cost side it is very expensive, the loss of berries, handpicking, long aging… But if it is succeded it is brilliant. The highest complexity that can be achieved in a natural wine.”

László Szilágyi, owner at Gizella Pince in Tokaj on a sadly missed topic when it comes to Aszú wines; how difficult it is to produce and that there is no guarantee the noble rot will show up every year. (as has been the case in several vintages the last years) It’s a giant risk a Tokaj producer takes, to produce an Aszú, and the approach is worth some respect and remembrance. 

To find out more about Gizella, read this.

“I hate this wine.”

Dirk Niepoort is an intelligent provocateur. And of course also an honest man. When we taste his 2009 Batuta, he drops the words which perhaps could be rephrased to “I’m a bit disappointed with this wine. It didn’t turn out the way I wanted it to.” The wine world need more people like Dirk; challenging ideas, education and asking questions.

To read more about Dirk and some of his thoughts, click here.

“I’m going to name the wine Eszter.”

Demeter Zoltán is a man in possession of great knowledge regarding his beloved Tokaj. Yet he has sacrificed a lot to be able to run a winery focusing on nothing but extreme quality. When he tells me his Főbor, the old name for the today used Szamorodni term, will be named after his daughter, he’s very emotional. Winemaking is not poetry as the end product itself; lots of hard work, financial struggle and postponing the forming of a family, are the reality for too many. It’s worth keeping in mind when picking a bottle.

To read more about the amazing Demeter Zoltán, click here.

“Some years ago I was driving from Bairrada to the Dão valley, using the old road between the Caramulo mountain and the Buçaco castle. I was struck by the beauty of nature and the authenticity of a region lost in time. My eyes fell on a fantastic old vineyard surrounded by granitic stones next to a Roman way – incredible. I tasted the grapes and I was more than amazed by the deepness and character I experienced. I drove back home singing Louis Armstrong’s classic :« What a wonderful world. »”

I know, the majority don’t think emotional or passionate when it comes to wine. I do – all the time. And that is why I also love people like Filipa Pato – one of Portugal’s most interesting winemakers to follow. She’s understood it, she’s seen the Matrix – passion is one of the best ingredients for producing wonderful wines.

More about Filipa? Read this.

“Besonders am Herzen liegt mir der Wiener Gemischte Satz – ein Wiener Klassiker, der fast in Vergessenheit geraten ist.“

(Loosely translated: Especially I’m partial to the Viennese Gemischter Satz – a Viennese classic which is almost forgotten about.)

The quote is Fritz Wieninger’s. The man behind the revival of the Viennese field blend of Gemischter Satz, one of the wine world’s real oddities. Today you will find several excellent producers who has contributed in lifting the the style from a simple wine. Stefan Hajszan for example. To get a glimpse of what you might be missing out on – if you’re not a fan already – read about my visit to Fritz and Stefan here.

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