The story of Zsadányi Vineyards began with a trip to Tokaj in 2000 when we were still actively searching for a holiday home around Lake Balaton. However it didn’t take long to fall in love with Tállya and the surrounding countryside and our very first Tokaj visit was soon followed by some momentous steps. A house in this region typically comes with a vineyard so our estate was already in the range of 15-20 hectares from the beginning but at the time we saw the land only as an investment.
Initially we did not care about the vines, we rented out most of the land and the grapes were largely sold. However after 5-6 years the wine region became such an integral part of our lives that it no longer surprised us that we took the arduous journey from Győr to Tállya 30-40 times a year. The binding had several stages. An important step in the process was the production of our first single vineyard wine the 2006 Görbe. This was the wine that set us on a journey of discovery to better understand the excellent Tállya vineyards which enjoyed such high prestige in earlier times. We started to pay more attention to the specifics of the indvidual vineyards and this understanding guided us in making our new purchases.
In exploring the values of Tállya we were joined by many others and the common experience and the sharing of ideas has aided our quest to match terroirs, varieties and types of wine. Since 2010 István Hudák is in charge of viticulture and winemaking at Zsadányi Vineyards and Winery. His appointment heralded a new era in the life of the winery. The work we started could be labelled as „vineyard archeology” and we have managed to save several plots with old vines hailing from the 1940s, 1950s and 1960s. It is a very special feeling to taste wines made of grapes grown in vineyards which were believed to be irredeemable just a few years earlier. The size of renewed and recultivated plots is continuously expanding and we also have new plantings, so today the estate’s total size under vine has reached 35 hectares.
Some say that the road to understanding Tállya is through tasting the wines of the Zsadányi Winery; we have plots in 15 different vineyards which makes for a level of diversity no other winery can match. Depending on the vintage we bottle 5-7 single vineyard wines and that is unique in Tállya. Our technology is a conscious effort to marry modern and traditional methods. For most of our wines ageing in oak is an integral part of our winemaking, the extent is decided according to the characteristics of vineyards and vintages.
Today no one would call into question the exalted standing of Tállya within the wine region. There is an ever growing number of wines showing in full splendour why it was regarded as one of the leading lights in Tokaj for centuries. For many decades Tállya was an unexploited asset, the Cinderella of the wine region, but today it is once again a gem of the wine region with its characterful and elegant dry wines and aszús.
Eszter Árendás, László Zsadányi