Saved from hungry sterlings

Villa Sandahl vintage 2019

The extreme weather of 2019 had positive influence on Villa Sandahl wines. The most peculiar estate has recently presented its new 4 Rhine Riesling wines for the trade.

Swedish–Hungarian Villa Sandahl estate is probably the most peculiar estate in Hungary in several aspects, but definitely it is the most peculiar in Badacsony wine region. Why?
– Only one grape variety: Rhine Riesling
– The different fractions of the must are separated and made into different labels
– Labels change year by year
– All the labels are designed by Christer Sandahl, one of the owners
– The owners publish every tiny detail on the website, so that customers can understand why to buy a more expensive or a less expensive wine of the estate
Plus: it is one of the most successful wineries with numerous high prestige awards and listings in the best restaurants.

Bold sanders – more than usual

As Christer Sandahl explained at the trade presentation at Fióka restaurant (not an accidental choice – ‘Fióka’ means ‘Little Bird’), vintage 2019 was the third consecutive year with extreme weather conditions. Spring was rather cool with high amount of rainfall, summer was not hot either, but quite dry – with just sufficient rainfall. Autumn brought wonderful weather with very little rain. Due to the pleasant autumn and the development in the vineyard the time of harvest could take place when the grape reached perfect phenolic ripeness (on 22–25 October). However, dry autumn had a negative side effect: hungry sanders had a good time in the sunny autumn vineyard, tasting the sweet berries. Nets had to be stretched over the bunches, yet sanders attacked the bunches like “air bombarders”. Since Sandahl labels are always inspired by the actualities of each vintage, this year the sanders became the protagonists of the labels.

Sandahl team even created a cartoon to show how a bold sander dived to reach a tasty berry:

What is the “must fraction”

As mentioned above, at Villa Sandahl Zsolt Palkó winemaker and his team select not only the parcels of the vineyard, but the different fractions of the must. For those, who are not professionals: the very first fraction of the must might be dirty, full of insects, dust. Then comes the best material, while the last fraction is usually again is lower quality. At Villa Sandahl the team divides the must fractions into three categories and ferment them separately. The fractions of inferior quality are not used for the wines.

2019 vintage wines from top label to entry level:

– Birdie Num Num Rhine Riesling (Rare Peak Plus)
– Brave Birds Rhine Riesling (Rare Peak plain)
– Starling Village Rhine Riesling (Mid Range)
– Air Dive Rhine Riesling (Solid Ground)

If you are interested in the assembling of any of the wines, you can find them on Villa Sandahl website – along with every bits of information.

It is worth take a look at the fact sheet of the top wine:

Villa Sandahl wines are imported to Sweden and Italy.

Earlier vintages can be ordered from Winelovers Webshop – they ship to any European countries!

Villa Sandahl tasting
Villa Sandahl tasting at Fióka restaurant (photo by János Lakatos)

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