At the Rosemary Organic Hungarian Restaurant, we not only celebrate organic food but also wine and those artisan winemakers who are committed to minimal intervention in the vineyard in the winery. Their wines are on the wish list of a range of the chicest restaurants and pubs from Norway to Japan and appear on the Independent’s list of the best natural wines.
First of all, what is organic, biodynamic and natural wine? “Organic farming excludes the use of chemical fertilizers, pesticides in the vineyards. Biodynamic growing uses organic methods combined with the mindset of Rudolf Steiner who looks at the Earth as a living organism, following the rhythm of nature.” – says Roland Szimeiszter, the founder of Roland Wines. “Natural wine or real wine are wines that are produced without adding or removing anything during winemaking. No sulphites are added, the taste is so natural that you won’t have a hangover. But the most important is that you’ll feel the soul of the winemaker in it.”
Roland’s focus turned to natural wines after studying at the Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET), and working as a sommelier at the two-Michelin starred restaurant Marcus in London. He researched Hungary and the surrounding countries to find the best winemakers who are really committed to growing and making natural wines and found a handful of them. Thanks to his company, Roland Wines you can taste these at the Rosemary, and on 30 May, at our next Wine Tasting Dinner, Roland guides you through some of the best ones.
Meet the winemakers
Zsolt Sütő – Strekov1075
7 years ago Zsolt Sütő, being the restless, ever searching soul that he is, found himself converting his 12ha of land in the village of Strekov to sustainable farming. Fully understanding his vines became a life-mission and the appetite is still growing.
Using the region’s microclimate allows Zsolt to optimise ripening season and handwork makes the vines more resilient, less sensitive to drought. Fermenting is done spontaneously- in barrels and open vat fermenters without any intervention allowing the wine to reveal its beauty on its own. Zsolt prefers to keep the wines on their lees and to avoid the use of sulphur completely. One of his wines are on the Independent’s list of the best 14 natural wines.
Disclaimer *If you have not tasted wine made by Zsolt Sütő – you have not tasted good wine*.
Oszkar Maurer – Maurer
Befittingly Oszkàr’s love for winemaking is well-rooted in his family tree – he represents the 4th generation of Maurer’s working shoulder to shoulder in Szerèmsèg, Serbia.
The wisdom and knowledge gained through years of hard manual work in complete balance with nature have played a big part in shaping Oszkàr’s approach to winemaking today. Not using any chemicals on the vineyard or in his cellar, only adding a touch of sulphur if necessary, just to mention a few.
The beautiful 15 ha of land are alive through vines such as 138 years old Kadarka (just casually the oldest of this kind on the planet), Furmint, Bakator, Kövidinka, Szerèmi Zöld, Olaszrizling, and Mèzes Fehèr.
As for mother nature, add a 500 million years old formation – land that is made up of volcanic bedrock – to the mix and you will find yourself sipping on wines with astonishing minerality and a hint of craftsmanship beyond belief.
Tímea Éless – Szóló
Tímea Éless was born and spent most of her childhood in Tállya where she inherited the love for vineyards from her grandparents. It came as no surprise that she gladly jumped into the opportunity to take over a 0.3ha plot in Tökösmály from her grandfather in 2009.
From the very beginning, Tímea has successfully cultivated her vineyards in harmony with nature using no chemicals and avoiding pesticides completely. Achieving a balanced interaction between man and nature in order to produce pristine wines has proven to be her true calling. The vineyard, which has now grown to 7ha, produces high-quality grapes and wines with crisp acidity and incredible complexity.
Tímea ferments most of her wine in porcelain eggs which induces a constant flow so the wines develop a smoother texture and a powerful character that makes it unmistakably Szolo wines.
Taste the wines of the these fantastic winemakers at a unique Wine Tasting Dinner guided by Roland.