Kata Zsirai and Szent Tamás Hárslevelű Tokaj Hungary, photo by ferenc Dancsecs Furmint Photo

Zsirai moments in the eye of a photographer

A good photo tells you more than 1000 words – so true! Look at our cover photo taken by an outstanding Hungarian photographer called Ferenc Dancsecs (alias Furmint Photo) and see the other one below. He brilliantly captured the playful personality of Kata Zsirai, winemaker of Zsirai Winery, and the great Szent Tamás terroir (Mád, Tokaj) is also present here, we can almost “taste” minerality.

Szent Tamás – Hárslevelű from a sacred vineyard

The current vintage is 2018, and it is the very first vintage for the Zsirai family to harvest from legendary Szent Tamás vineyard. According to Kornél Nagy historian, hundreds of years ago this vineyard was called as simply as “The Vine Hill of Mád”, and there is evidence that a noble man bought a parcel here for as little as 424 forints. Now it is the price of half a kilo of bread, but it was not a huge amount in 1600 either. Probably it received its name after the patron of the local catholic church and its fame rose later, when the land belonged to the Rákóczi family. Now nearly 40 producers have vineyards here, the size is altogether 71 hectares and the highest point is 230 metres. The soil is quite complex and diverse: on the volcanic bedrock the soil mainly contains reddish rhyolite, quartz and rhyolite tuff, ands depth varies between 3 metres and “very thin”.

For Zsirai Szent Tamás Hárslevelű 2018 the grape was harvested very early (in August) and after spontaneous fermentation the wine aged on fine lees in used 220 L Hungarian oak barrel for 9 months. There is a little residual sugar (5.6 g/L) beautifully balanced with the acidity (of 6.4 g/L). On the nose the floralnotes typical of Hárslevelű appear along with pear and citrus fruits, the palate is complex, intense, layered and features the minerality chara cteristics of Szent Tamás vineyard.

More about Szent Tamás Hárslevelű

Tokaji Furmint Szent Tamás

Meet Zsirai team and wines on 17th of August at Hungarian Gettogether

Hungarianwines Gettogether 2023

Zsirai wines are available in the United Kingdom at Jascots

Our summary of Tamlyn Currin’s article with tasting notes including Zsirai’s Furmint wines

The four faces of Furmint – another brilliant article by Tamlyn Currin

More about Furmint Photo

Kata Zsirai Tokaj Hungary photo by Ferenc Dancsecs Furmint Photo

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