16 December 2021 / Borbála Kalmár, on behalf of the Agricultural Marketing Centre
Thanks to the number of strenuous French lessons finally paying off, I was able to be interned at the seventh-generation sparkling wine producer, Antech Limoux. The Limoux wine district is located in the south-east of France, in the Languedoc region. Despite its southerly location, the altitude and the cooling effect of the Atlantic make it a very suitable area for sparkling wine production.
Vineyards in Limoux, France
Our winery has been working with traditionally produced sparkling wines since 2016, and this is becoming an increasingly important part of our business. Our 2018 Blanc de Noirs was a gold medal winner at this year's Vinagora, so the focus of this year for us is clearly on sparkling wine. Since we have a wide range of products, from still white wines to red and full-bodied wines, I have always tried to organise my previous harvests abroad with this in mind, so that I am able to see a foreign example of each type of wine. I think it’s important that I witnessed a passion for wine and learned about work management solutions, in addition to picking up winemaking techniques in each wine district. This year's harvest provides a great basis for expressing the light, fruity style characteristic of crémant in our own sparkling wines. Sparkling products have always played an important role in our family. My father wrote his thesis on sparkling base wines, and he trained to become a sparkling wine master at the Boglár State Winery before the regime change. We were the first family to make sparkling wine in this wine district.
Returning home from harvests abroad always gave me the urge to introduce big changes, which of course led to conflicts. Now this urge has subsided. I acknowledge and respect the work that my grandparents and parents put into growing grapes and making wine. But there's also room for my innovations: whether it's pét-nat or our carbonic macerated red wine, which is made in the style of Beaujolais. You can find the latter in our portfolio under the name ‘Libás’. In addition, we will be adding an orange wine to our range this year.
I like challenges and I consider making pét-nat a challenge. I have a vivid memory from my youth of getting together with the family in the autumn evenings and having semi-fermented grape juice (“murci”) with roasted chestnuts. This playfulness, fruitiness and slight bubbliness of the murci is what I intended to show the public through the pét-nats. At the beginning of summer, I noticed that relatively few people knew about this type of wine, so we offered it for tasting and talked a lot about it in the vinotheque. By the end of summer, we received a lot of positive feedback. This is good motivation for us to continue in this direction in the future.
It's still too early to talk about my signature, as I've been away during the harvest seasons, but I’m getting more and more involved in blending and ageing. I’ve been influenced by several styles: Sauvignon Blanc from New Zealand and South Tyrol, red wines from Bordeaux, Sangiovese from Tuscany and now the fruity crémant. In the future, I want to highlight the variety and the growing region of the wine and push the intense, new barrel notes into the background. I think that everything is in place in our wine district to achieve this.
I don't have to go far for role models or inspirational personalities: to this day, I can see the sparkle in the eyes of my grandfather, known to many as Uncle Feri, when he talks about grapes, and he does so with over fifty years of experience. The same goes for my parents, who are not only wine lovers but enthusiasts of sailing and Lake Balaton as well. Our friends, with whom we have many themed blind tastings and from whom we can learn a lot, are the ones I would like to highlight: Zoli Kukola, the head winemaker at BB, and Péter Baranyai, the head winemaker at Garamvári. The kind of hospitality I experience here in France is something that I also find inspiring. It doesn't matter what day of the week it is, winemakers are happy to welcome me and share their experience and philosophy, even on a Saturday or Sunday morning. I think this is an attitude we should adopt in Hungary too.
Ferenc Bujdosó Sr. tasting with an experience of 60 vintages
For more information about the winery please visit its profile page.