If you ever have experienced the sensation of tasting a Tokaji, you would have seen that within the same trademark we can set up differences by means of the Puttonyos. Do you really know the reason?
Tokaji wine is produced in the region of Tokaj-Hegyalja, placed between Hungary and Slovakia. This type of wine is unique in the world due to its aszú variety (“dry”), which is the oldest variety of botrytisised wine, whose origin dates from the XVI century.
When we talk about this type of wine, first we must mention the Botrytis Cinerea, a fungus that affects the grape, making it dry and reducing its amount of water. As a result, we obtain a rotten grape, full of sugar. This bad state is called “noble rottenness”.
In ancient times, the grapes with noble rottenness, were gathered in containers known as Puttonyos, with a capacity of 25 kg of grape and then between 3 and 6 puttonyos were thrown into the 132-litre barrel where the wine was elaborated before its fermentation.
By means of this actions, the resulting wine was sweetened. The more puttonyos where added the sweeter was the wine.
Nowdays, this method has changed and the amount of puttonyos does not match the amount of grape with added botrytis, but it matches the amount of sugar contained in the resulting wine.
It is said that a puttonyo equates to 25 grams of sugar per litre of wine. To give an example, a tokaji of 6 puttonyos contains 150 grams of sugar per litre of alcohol.
In Spain the Tokaji Oremus is well known, whose ownership belongs to Vega Sicilia Winery, which during the postcomunist privatisation process purchased a winery in order to elaborate Tokaji wines.