Fragrance, Spice Store, Wine Shop
Vine and wine culture and the wine region, grapes and wine are not only associated with tastes, but also smells. In Illátéka, after the eyes and ears, the guest can try another sense, the nose, with the help of 40 scent samples, which are somehow related to Tokaj-Hegyal.
Volcanic rocks of Vzőlőhegyek │ The Tokaji Mountains were predominantly formed as a result of Tertiary volcanic activity, approximately 12 million years ago. Volcanic activity initially brought rhyolite tuff and rhyolite lava to the surface, which was then replaced by andesite lava and tuff scattering. The vineyards are therefore made up of varied volcanic soil: andesite, rhyolite and their tuffs.
The diversity of the soil is clearly shown by the fact that 19 mineral raw materials are found in the border of Mád alone - the processing industry was also built on this wealth of minerals. The typical soil at the bottom of the mountains is the sap, which is the weathering product of various volcanic rocks mixed with loess and humus. The lymph is a compact soil, and it is very tiring to work it. At the same time, full-bodied wines with a strong acid backbone can be made on volcanic rock rich in minerals, which are very rich in trace elements.
The vine's roots reach deep into this soil, up to six meters deep. In the valleys, a thick layer of loess settled on the volcanic soils. Due to the lower acidity, the areas with more loess soil (e.g. Kopasz-hegy) favor wines with a softer character - so these vineyards are more suitable for growing more fragrant varieties.
Sank pits│ Traditionally, vineyards that provide high income were valued everywhere, including in Tokaj-Hegyalja, and efforts were made to protect the farmland. For example, the drainage was solved and maintained so that the rainwater does not wash away the soil. They dug settling pits in the trenches, which were called liquor stacks or shank pits. They collected the washed earth in these, and then carried it back to the grape rows with tiresome work in puttons. The earth, mixed with turf or lime, was also used as fertilizer.
Stone dams and terraces │ During the cultivation of the vines, the stones that came out of the soil were carried to the edge of the vines. Smaller and larger stone dams, sometimes up to 10 meters high, were built from these, which sometimes required more stones than a city stone house! The stone carving and construction work that enabled terraced viticulture required special expertise. For a long time, this work was not performed by the locals, but by German migrant workers from Mecenzéf, who called themselves mantas. The construction and maintenance of the dams was extremely expensive, but on the sides of the steep vineyard hill - reducing soil erosion and promoting the reflection of the sun's rays - they excellently stimulated the ripening process of the grapes.
Stone Cellars │ The characteristic feature of the cellar system carved into the rhyolite tufa of the wine region is the noble cellar mold, Cladosporiumcellare, which thickly covers the walls of the cellars, which occurs only here in the world and in the wine cellars along the Rhine. This mushroom plays an important role in ensuring the quality of Tokaj wines. Thanks to it, aszú develops its specific taste, aroma, flavor, dark golden yellow color and high alcohol content of around 14 percent by volume, reminiscent of fresh bread.