Grassi – Winery and vineyards.
We are no less than very Italian. From the north, no, not from the arctics, just here from Treviso. We brought the passion for vine-grapes & wine back in ’96. And here our passion have grown even more – this place is really awesome! Italian girls are beautiful but the Hungarians are even more beautiful, well-well, yet another good point!
We love to eat and drink well, especially if there are guests in tow. Hopefully there are. We rather fancy good wines, actually we only like those ones. So that’s why we often drink ours, being close at hand and in large quantities – even if we swill it rather properly! We like champagne, too. So we made ours quickly, we will see how it’s gonna be like in two years. Hope we did not srcew it up, we would be really sad – and none the less thirsty.
The ever smiling lady with a cheerful voice, whome you meet in the office if you come along, is Anna. She answers the phone as well. A little Italian, a little Hungarian, or rather very Italian and little Hungarian. We love the way she cooks. We love her for many reasons, but for her risotto definitely. And for her lemon cake. And for her panna cotta. I am telling you for many things!
And here the generations all in a row: 4th, 5th, 6th. All of them area winemakers. Even the youngest, being just over 11. He will be a Juve striker or a winemaker, it will turn out. Or both, no problem. And there is the petit balerina, who, once she gives up dacing in the future, will hopefully be a winemaker as well. We are very proud of her. She samples wines well, very well, even though she’s just 18. Her nose is her father’s, all the rest is her mother’s. It is Uri who makes the wines nowdays, Daddy is in the vineyards. He is the boss there, in fact everywhere, but sometimes we believe that we are bosses too. But we are not at all. He is obsessed, and yet we are too. We used to start the harvest on Sundays many times, because the grapes were ripe just then. Just fine. Just Sunday. Just before the consomme.
Thanks God we do not have consomme, but we have pasta instead! At least that’s a very serious thing. And we used to do the spraying till 2 am at dawn, because that’s just needed. We used to farm someone else’s lands too, when we were not even asked to do so, in fact, we overlooked it, Uri overlooked it. But the owner was happy. He said we did a really good job. Since then he’s having his own vineyard,
against his will. Well, we are Italians with a slight problem with the Hugarian languange. Not that much these days, but at the beginning… The wines are great, have I said that already? And the atmosphere too. The limestone is good as well, but who cares, even if the cellar is carved into it – which is truly awesome. Come, let’s discuss, and I will show it to you too! It is a decent little team, in fact a family, a decent big family.
Which is more like a hole. A hole in the hill. In fact many holes that snarled into a tunnel. To turn it into a winey, wine is needed. Not just being poured into it, like into a pool, but filled in casks and containers. A good 6000 hl. It is even enough to clean them, but at least there is volume capacity. There are plenty of casks too, with ample quantites of wine in them.
The technology is serious, seriously Italian. Italian technology, Hungarian grapes – it is a nice match! The children are nice too! Well, not in every year… Some are nice, some are nicer. The cellar is on the hill, up at the top, or nearly at the top, at any rate very high. From where everythings rolls down: ball, cask, wine bottle, mobile crane too. Without assistance. It was not a small one but on the contrary – and it tumbled down. Bad luck for the small Suzuki. Now there’s a replacement, because it became flat. Very flat. Having the mobile crane tumbled down, – and it came down all right – it lent to one side. But since then we’ve had a parking lot, let’s say it’s even. And the terraces too. And the garden is beautiful. So much Italian, cool Italian! Where it’s nice to down a spritzer or two. Well, it’s king to get drunk here too! Or just gaze at the scenery, because there’s such a nice one here too, a breath-taking one!
There were sometimes few people here – say two. It was still good. We tasted everything one after the other. But you can come in crowds too. We are OK up to 200! Stylishly good. There were even 1600 people here once. Say that was no small deal, but it was a cool party. They did not even want to go home, neither we. Since then we have known that the crack of dawn is also king here!
100 ha is little, always little. Say, if we were to hoe it as well, it would be too much, very much. Just enough – leave it at that
It’s nice and cool here, at least compared to Tuscany for sure, but we do not mind. Spring comes also later, Italian style, at a leisurely pace. But the soils is Hungarian, truly Hungarian. The grape-vines love it, the reds and the whites too. It shows in the character of the wines, exciting acidity, not intrusive tannins and rich aromas: elegant wines are born here. There is plenty of wine, just as many different grape-vines. We have for example cabernet franc, cabernet sauvignon, merlot, pinot noir, kékfrankos, syrah, blauburger, chardonnay, hárslevelű, szürkebarát, muscatt ottonel, királyleányka.
This Eger region is peculiar, ’cause reds and whites get on well togather. This is true for very few wine regions! Amongst the good reds it is the nothernmost. Now we know that. It is so good to be here! We farm the grape-vines, from daylight till darkness, if needed. And usually it is needed. We can rest very little. „Sometime after the harvest…” but not even then, because then the wine needs our attention very much.
For quality wines you need good grapes, so we were told, we believe in it, we know it… We endeavour to establish an ever-renewing winery based on traditions. We try to prepare genuinely local wines worthy of the wine region’s specific conditions, and to do it in our Italian way, cool Italian! We are lucky that we can farm our vineyards over here- and create something lasting.
But it does not last very long – hopefully. It is drunk or we drink it. As long as there is someone who drinks it -it is cool, cool Italian!