OREMUS, PRIMAE CLASSIS

The birth of the legend

It was in around 1630 when Maté Szepsi Lacko, a Calvinist preacher produced the first "Tokaj wine with tears" (Tokaj Aszú). It was served to Princess Zsuzanna Lorántffy, the wife of György Ráckózci I, Prince of Transylvania, in the festivities to celebrate Easter to thank the princess for the attention she paid to her Tokaj subjects. This unusual present was made from the grapes grown in the Oremus vineyard and it was recognised as PRIMAE CLASSIS in 1772, when the first world vineyard classification was established.

More
Close

OREMUS, PRIMAE CLASSIS

 

The Oremus vineyards are in a continental climate, but it is exactly the influence of the extremes of climate that help to develop an unrivalled aromatic wealth in the different varieties of grape.

Nearly half of the estate's vineyards are Furmint, used to prepare the Mandolás dry white wine and for the winery's different dessert wines.


The Hárslevelű (linden leaf) variety adds mildness and its delicate floral tones, while the Sárga Muskotály (yellow Muscat) provides its characteristic aromas to the Oremus Late Harvest wines. The Zéta grape, in turn, makes our wines more vigorous.

To honour the tradition, we are yet again growing some varieties that were typical before the phylloxera arrived (1880s), which are the Kövérszőlő (fat grape) and the Gohér, even though in a rather limited area.

When winter arrives in December, only the snow protects the vines against the gruelling cold and bitter icy strong winds. The odd frost even happens in spring and can particularly affect the vine stocks at the foot of the slopes. The heat arrives suddenly in May and the grapes begin to quickly grow. Summer is hot, there is relief from the initial sweltering heat with the rain in June and hail is not uncommon in the summer thunderstorms. Then, August is usually dry and warm. The long autumn is damp to start off with, then turns dry, but nights are already turning chilly. The early morning frost is followed by warm and sunny days, which frequently lasts until mid-November. The weather in autumn is thus ideal for magnificent grapes to form on the vines. The rivers that flow through the region, the varied relief due to the mountains, along with the diversity of soils and the characteristics woodland mean that are significant microclimatic differences between the different Oremus plots.


The harvest always begins with the grapes for the Mandolás dry Furmint, when the fruit is already completely ripened and the parts of the clusters of grapes exposed to the sun are even overripe. We only pick whole bunches of grapes, that are healthy and golden yellow in colour. We then wait for some days, or even weeks, until the fruit is extremely ripe and that the Botrytis, the noble rot, attacks the grape.


Taking advantage of the different ripening time of the different grape varieties on the estate, we go from plot to plot through the vineyards, and we look for bunches of grapes where parts of the fruit show signs of being overripe and the other is infected by the noble rot. A very rich, tasty and mellow must is obtained from those bunches and is used to produce the Oremus Late Harvest wine.


The noble berries are selected one by one from the vine for the "Aszú" wine of tears. We use two containers for the harvest: a smaller one for the noble berries and a larger one for the remaining parts of the bunches of grapes. We go from one vineyard to another, as many times as necessary and with the number of grape pickers that are required.

We rely on Tokaj's typical climate, on the "Indian summer", which we call "the old ladies' summer" in Hungary: the nights are cold, but the sun still shines for some hours during the dry and windy days.