How was 2018?
The 2018 vintage started off with a mild winter, therefore the vineyard works progressed fast. We finished with pruning and tying early. At the end of March the weather turned worryingly cold, the temperature sometimes dropped below -15 oC. We were worried that the frost may damage the stocks, but ultimately no harm was caused. Later in April due to the unusual heat, events started speeding up, there were days when temperatures rose above 30 oC and the weather stayed warm from then on. Therefore flowering began three weeks earlier than usual. In addition to the heat, the conditions were characterized by uneven precipitation, with larger quantities of rainfall arriving at once. This made carrying out the green works a real challenge. The shoots grew fast as well as the weeds, thus vineyard maintenance took an extraordinary effort. In July there were two weeks of cooler temperatures, which slowed down the ripening, however in August the heat returned and we kicked off harvest three weeks earlier than usual. As we work in both the Etyek-Buda and Sopron wine regions, we always plan for a lengthy harvest period, this year we completed a 67 days long harvest. We were concerned after the first week of harvest, due to a larger quantity of rainfall around August 20th, as we had to alter plans accordingly. Thanks to the favourable weather conditions the grape yield was 15% above average this year, and it seems that this vintage favoured the Pinot Noir and the Sauvignon Blanc in Etyek, while in Sopron the Merlot seems the most promising. We were glad to have some help from abroad during harvest: the winemaker of our partner winery, the Esterházy Winery, Martin Cooper and an Australian winemaker, Chris Rae, who even lent a hand with cleaning out the press.
In the cellar we started making the new wines, to prepare the Kúria White and Kúria Rosé by St. Martin’s day. They turned out aromatic and fruity once again, arriving with a fun new design this year. The figures on the labels are not only colourful, they are on the move and some even started to dance. In addition to the first wines of the new vintage, several new wines were released, the 2016 Zweigelt and Merlot from the Sopron wine region were presented during a vineyard tour. In November a special wine was released, the Pinot Noir Selection 2015, which was made by racking the best lots of the vintage into new French barrels, and after 10 months of ageing the content of the best barrels was filled into 1500 bottles. Our greatest pride is the Pinot Noir Vintage Selection, released for the first time this year, in which we selected six Pinot Noir wines from five vintages between 2012 and 2016. Furthermore, there are plenty of tasks in the cellar, starting from October we started bottling the wines of the 2017 vintage – the Pinot Noir and the Chardonnay. We have ambitious plans, since we’ll be making traditional method sparkling wine for the first time from Pinot Noir and Chardonnay varieties.
In the vineyard we began preparing for winter, recovering the base of the stocks with earth, paying special care of the new plantations. We are participating in a new experiment on inter-row soil coverage with the Hungarian Research Institute of Organic Agriculture (ÖMKi), who have assembled a unique inter-row seed mix for us, with the purpose of the plants complementing each other, to resist treading and permanently protect the soil between the vine rows. In December, after the sowing, we began the pruning tasks, which we expect to finish by March.
Thank you for the kind words and support we have received this year! We hope that this year was as successful for all, as you hoped. In 2019, we wish you plenty of joy and strength for the challenges of the new year!