- Tokaji-Hegyalja, Hungary
The vineyards at Oremus are mostly on hillsides that rise steeply above the village of Tolcsva in the heart of the Tokaj-Hegyalja appellation. They are close enough to the Bodrog River to benefit from the particular climatic conditions that generate noble rot. All the Oremus vineyards are classified ‘First Growth’, according to the historic Szirmay classification of 1803. The cellars themselves are found under the village Tolcsva, in a labyrinth of hand-hewn cellars dating back to the 12th century.
The wines are made by Tokaj Master Andras Backsos, from the traditional varieties: spicy Furmint, floral Hárslevelü, honeyed Zéta and fruity Muskat Lunel. The process itself is unique: fifty-pound puttonyos (tubs) of juice—paste, really—from botrytis-affected (aszú) grapes, individually picked, are added to 136-liter Gonci casks of regular fermenting must. After a 24-hour maceration, the mixture is pressed, and then aged in oak for as long as ten years.