To put Szerencs back on the map of the Tokaj Wine Region, that was Ádám Varkoly’s dream many years ago. The youngest member of the family business called Árpád-hegy Winery, Ádám won the prestigious Gál Tibor Memorial Prize in 2017, an award for the best young winemaker of the year. And since then he has been striving to show his gratitude.
“Our family winery was set up in 2000 and now has 13 hectares in Tokaj-Hegyalja. Our primary aim is to achieve the highest quality and we do this through strict yield control,” Ádám explained as he presented the winery. He has been linked to vine and wine since childhood. His grandfather was a cooper and also had a small vineyard. His father was a viticulturalist at the state wine company and also made wine as a hobby. He bought their three cellars on Árpád-hegyi Cellar Row in Szerencs.
“It was clear that I would continue the family tradition. I made my first wine when I was 18, but my learning and development since then are an integral part of my life. Our cellar is 20 km from Tokaj, on the hill called Árpád-hegy in Szerencs. Its history stretches back to the 1800s. We try to protect the crop using environmentally friendly methods.”
Their vineyards are lands traditionally classified as First Growth: Sajgó, Veresek, Király, Becsek and Zafír in Tarcal, Mád, Mezőzombor and Bodrogkeresztúr. They cultivate traditional Tokaj varieties, and although they concentrate primarily on Furmint, they also have Hárslevelű, Sárgamuskotály, Kövérszőlő, Kabar and Zéta.
Ádám likes to do everything himself. One vintage he made 17 different wines: single-vineyard dry Furmints, dry and sweet Szamorodni, late harvest, Fordítás and Aszú! But he told me, “If you like what you are doing and there is joy in the vineyards, then you forget to be tired.”