Judit Bodó, owner of Bott Winery, has set herself the goal of the search for balance and elegance. Wine started off simply as an adventure – but it became love.
“At first it seemed that I would have nothing to do with wines. I went to South Tyrol to learn the language and when I came home, I went to university. Then I realised I had to earn money. I worked in apple orchards and vineyards. I was at two family wineries at the end of the 1990s, and they started to invest in the Tokaj Wine Region. One day they just asked me if I would like to help them start their business. And that is how I arrived. There was nothing conscious in it. It started as a simple adventure, but it became much more,” said Judit, who didn’t meet her husband through the winery either.
“We’ve been together since I was 14 years old. While I went to agriculture college, he studied art history but at weekends he came to the region and helped wash barrels, harvest, etc. He was the one who said if we enjoyed ourselves that much, and the feedback was good, then we should try and buy a small plot ourselves. So, for our wedding presents we didn’t ask for a dining service or a vacuum cleaner, but for money – from which we bought our first vineyards, nearly half a hectare.”
Furmint, Hárslevelű and a little Sárgamuskotály – that’s what Bott Winery started with. The winery name comes from Judit’s maiden name. “We didn’t plan. We were young, relaxed and a little irresponsible too – over the years we were less stringent. In return, close to nature, we learnt to accept responsibility, to plan long term and to decide.”
Judit and her husband believe that they dreamed up their estate and with it built a community that the wine serves as a tool. They do not use chemicals in the vineyard, their wines ferment spontaneously in oak barrels. They strive for the highest quality and to be able to show this to people of similar calibre. They say it is not a problem if they only make one barrel from a vineyard. The point is to be open.
Judit believes this is true of wine drinking too. “I love that kind of freedom that wine gives. I encourage people not to stick to one producer or one variety. There is a wine for every mood and every stage in life. We just have to be open to it and taste a lot. Even just a glass until you realise what attracts you.”