The history of the estate
The estate was founded in 2003 by Barta family with the objective to revive Öreg Király vineyard (’Old King’ vineyard) of great prestige, abandoned since the 1950s. The estate was a royal estate as early as 1280, belonging to the queen of Hungary. When driving from Szerencs to Mád, our attention is caugth by one of the most impressive vineyards of Király mountain (’King mountain’) with its steepest, terraced plots: this is Öreg Király, a 10 hectare vineyard with south–south-west exposure. Adjacent to Öreg Király there is another parcel of 17 hectares, of which 3.5 hectares were planted in the spring of 2017 in historic Kővágó (’Stone Cutter’) vineyard with south–south-east exposure. The soil is extremely rocky consisting of rhyolite tuff, zeolite and red clay. 80% of the vineyard is planted with T85 Furmint clone and another Furmint clone found in old plantations (so called ’Madárkás’, in English ’Birdy’ clone). The rest of the plantation is Hárslevelű, Yellow Muscat and Kövérszőlő. Almost half of the estate can be cultivated exclusively by manual labour with vine density of 1,4×0,8 m and 1×1. Vines per hectare: 10.000 and 5800.
The cellar and the winery building
The centre of the estate is situated in the fully renovated Rákóczi-Aspremont chateau in the village of Mád. The castle is a worthy centre building of the prestigious Öreg Király vineyard both because of its historic past and its dignified appearance. The original building was built in the 16thand 17thcentury, at that time it was a rather simple, one storey house functioning as a farm building. It became more and more significant with time, and finally it grew into a noble chateau. It has been renovated several times, the present structure was constructed at the beginning of the 1700s, and it is due to Julianna Rákóczi and her husband, Count Ferdinánd Gobert Aspremont. The present vinification plant of the winery is situated in the original, 16thcellar house and the cellar carved adjacent to the house. As the vineyards are cultivated in organic way, in the winery Barta uses organic vinification techniques as well and aims to achieve the maximum purity, elegance and balance. “It is of utmost importance that our wines should reflect the unique character of the terroir.”
Wine tourism at Barta estate
Visitors are welcome for vineyard tours and wine tastings in an unparallel location: on the terraces of Öreg Király vineyard. The fully renovated estate centre, the Rákóczi-Aspremont chateau offers wine tastings, wine dinners and suites to stay. Some guest rooms are available in the neighboring old rural house as well.
Some more thoughts on Barta Winery
“Back in old times people used to know where to plant vines”– exclaimed a visitor at Barta Estate tasting one of their first wines. That is what the Bartas thought when they were walking in the then abandoned terraces of Öreg Király, covered by woods and brushwood, back in 2003. “The terroir obliges! We admit it, and as a consequence we cultivate our vineyards and make our wines with full respect of traditions. However, tradition cannot exist without innovation, therefore we continually introduce innovative techniques. To maintain the perfect state of the soil, we do not use herbicides and absorbent chemicals in our vineyards.”
Grape varieties: Furmint, Hárslevelű, Sárgamuskotály (Yellow Muscat), Kövérszőlő
Barta Tokaji Furmint Brut
We, at Barta, only make a pezsgő, that is, sparkling wine in vintages that perfectly suit the purpose – and 2017 was exactly such a vintage. It was an ‘easy’ growing season with limited pest pressure and a long, sunny days that ensured good phenolic ripeness and balance in the grapes. The Furmint base wine had high and fine, fresh acidity, along with minerality and elegance. Secondary fermentation took place in the bottle, and the wine was aged on the lees for 3 years before disgorgement.
Barta, Furmint, Öreg király 2021
In 2021, a cool spring and late flowering made vines fall some two weeks behind the calendar and they would never catch up with it until the end of the growing season. This meant that dry wine harvest was pushed back to the second half of what was an extremely dry September. With some residual sugar and a brief touch of oak, this single-vineyard Furmint sports an amazing structure, marked by refreshing, racy acidity. An outsanding vintage.
Barta, Egy kis édes Furmint-Sárgamuskotály 2021
A little sweet Furmint & Sárgamuskotály is what the name of this wine means. Egy kis is the ‘prefix’ for our second brand under which we offer wines that are aimed at the ‘beginner wine drinkers’ who are looking for high-quality, yet easy-to-love, fruity and fresh entry-level wines that can open the door to wine connoisseurship.
Barta, Tokaji Szamorodni 2017
The perfect 2017 vintage saw partially-botrytised bunches of Furmint harvested from 3rd to 28th October, destemmed, and gently pressed after 4 hours of skin contact for this wine. After 24 hours of sedimentation, the juice was fermented in 15 per cent new oak and 85 per cent used oak, and then aged in the same barrels for 12 months, until bottling in January 2019.
Barta Tokaji Aszú 6 puttonyos 2016
In 2016, early botyrtisation allowed firm acidity to be retained in the berries. As acidity levels stayed high in both the base must and the botrytised grapes, it was possible to make a very complex, well-structured and balanced Aszú wine that has, at the same time, a high residual sugar level and long ageing potential.