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 Öreg Király Dűlő Furmint 2017
Pale yellow colour. A heavy wine, it takes a few seconds to open up. Its aromas reflect the characteristics of both the varietal and the terroir. The nose reveals plenty of chestnut and reminds us of the awakening nature in spring with pollens everywhere. Later a touch of clove joins, mainly when tasting. The palate reveals the stunning texture and the balanced richness of flavors – citrus fruits, feijoa, grapefruit – with a long lasting full body. “The 2017 Furmint is excellent: full bodied, supple, and fairly rich in flavor, with good balance, and a long finish, tasting of pear, toast, apple, vanilla, oak, and lime. A complex wine that will develop with further aging.” Ronn Wiegand MW, MS
Barta Öreg Király Dűlő Furmint 2015
The slowly dripping crowns on the glass predict a thick wine. The nose gives an insight into the world of Hungarian oak and the minerality of the soil of our vineyard. The palate is round and full bodied, the aftertaste is also rounded.
Egy Kis Édes Furmint 2017
A light, refreshing wine with tropical fruit notes typical of the varietal when harvested late. Vibrant acids in perfect balance with the residual sugar make the wine round and pleasant.
Barta Öreg Király Dűlő Szamorodni 2013
Restrained but complex nose. On the palate citrus fruits, peach, pineapple, litchi, a touch of brittle, minerality and some vibrant spiciness in the aftertaste. Vivid, but rounded acidity, firm structure, long finish. A Szamorodni wine with long ageing potential.
Barta Öreg Király Dűlő Aszú 2013
Despite its extremely high sugar content, the wine is surprisingly balanced presumably due to the minerality given by the unique terroir. Straw yellow colour, nicely swirls in the glass. Fruity nose with citrus notes. The palate is subtle with quince and apricot. Light acidity, finesse and the complexity of great wines. A Tokaji Aszú with long ageing potential.