2019 Sziegl Olaszrizling Birtok
Region: Hajós-Baja < Hungary
Vineyard/Cellar Stats: Organically farmed, whole cluster pressed, native fermentation, mostly tank; bottled unfined/unfiltered, with minimal So2; 12.6% ABV
Winemaker: Petra and Balázs Sziegl
This wine comes from a place in Hungary, 3 hours south of the Danube, called Hajósi Pincefalu (the cellar village of Hajós) which is apparently like a cellar theme park, with sandy vineyards on top and narrow streets and cellar doors below. The village has Swabian winemaking roots back to the 1700s, and is literally 24 streets of 1200 cellars flanked by vineyards.
While this area was dealt the typical Hungarian historical blow after the world wars and Communism, the older sandy vineyards were left alone due to the risk of heavy Soviet tractors collapsing the vast cellar system. Here a young couple Balázs and Petra are raising a baby and a new-ish winery business, which they started in 2012 by bartering with some of the older vineyard owners to work the land in exchange for making them wine. Balázs studied viticulture and wrote a thesis on the local grape, Kadarka -- he is focused on the vineyards, a ton of clonal research, and preserving the older vines. Petra studied winemaking and is principally in the cellar -- or the nursery with baby.