Attila Homonna works on 3,5 hectares with old vine Furmint and Hárslevelű in the village of Erdőbénye. His vineyards are meticoulusly farmed by himself without the use of herbicides, pesticides or any systematic sprays. Low yields and painstaking selection during the harvest were the key to preserve outstanding grape material. Focusing on the optimal harvest window he has picked his grapes in different stages, to capture the ideal balance between ripeness and freshness in the wine.
The Tokaj wine region situated on the northeastern part of Hungary at the south – southeastern foothills of the Zemplén Mountain. This 500-700 m high mountain range protects the vineyards from the cold northern wind, while they are directly exposed to the south, where the great plain starts and gives way to the warm continental air flow. River Bodrog and Hernád are also playing a major climatic role by providing a good balancing effect. The main geologic formation of this region took place between 15 and 10 million years ago leaving behind more than 400 hundred volcanic hills layer upon layer. The result is a great diversity of different soil types. Volcanic stones like Andesite, Rhyolite, Zeolite and Dacite, its tuffs and decomposed forms can be most commonly found in the vineyards covered or mixed with clay and loess with varying degrees.
Tokaj owes his worldwide reputation to its sweet wine production. At the heyday of Tokaji Aszú in the 18th-19th century it used to be among the most sought after and expensive delights the wine world could offer. After the dark decades of 20th century ragged with World Wars and the introduction of cooperative cellars under the communist rule, not only the former fame of the region has faded but also the local know-how and memory has almost ceased to exist. The collapse of communism gave way in the early 90’s for foreign investments and privatization. Once famous vineyards were renovated and high standard cellars were built in order to try to reproduce the famed sweet wines of Tokaj. With the 21th century a new movement has started in search for serious dry wines made of Furmint and Hárslevelű.
Homonna It was also the time (1999) when Attila Homonna set his little enterprise up in the village of Erdőbénye. His curious ever searching nature made him to leave behind the world of marketing and advertising for producing wine. Naturally, he was among the pioneers of producing serious dry wines from the onset and has been laying focus on the dry wine production ever since.
He is farming on 3 hectares in the Határi, Csáky and Rány vineyards in the villages of Erdőbénye and Olaszliszka. He was specifically searching for all those old vineyards were planted with the old clones of Furmint and Hárslevelű. These vines are bringing small and loose berried bunches which are capable of delivering good complexity and an intense taste.
Meticulous handwork, low yields and the avoidance of chemical sprays are the key features of his vineyard practices. Harvest time depends on finding the state of ripeness can bring the right balance between acidity and sugar, which results perky acidity and lower alcohol levels (12-13%) in the wine
The destemmed and crushed grapes are immediately and very gently pressed in a basket press and racked into used 500 liter and 225 liter barrels where the fermentation takes place spontaneously. Elevage takes up to 8-11 months. The main principle behind Attila’s winemaking is to transport the characteristics of Furmint and Hárslevelű in their purest form based on the origin of the grapes. The wines are well expressing the salty mineral taste and lively acidity of volcanic soil. The truly remarkable features of his wines are the presence of structural density and taste intensity, while they always remain subtle and fine in their character. The cool climate origin of the wines is apparent. Considering the substantially different style of the wines made by Attila, he can be called one of the true pioneers of dry wine making in Tokaj.