The harvest of Aszú berries takes place in October or November, just before the first snows. There are two kinds of grapes : the « normal » berries which are round, full of juice, and the Aszú berries which are touched by botrytis or dried up (“Aszú” means dried up). Hungarian call the double phenomena (“passerillage” and noble rot) “Aszúsodás”.
La sélection des grains aszú
La sélection des grains aszú
La sélection des grains aszú
 

The berries are picked up one by one by women who are used to this tricky work. The berries are carried in crates. The average per year is about 200 kg per hectare. The selection of berries in crate requires a good eye and a good ear. You also need to take them in your hand and to press them to see the color of the juice. The Aszú berries are stocked during several weeks in standing barrels, so that the Esszencia (the very sweet juice) can drip while the winemaker makes the wines out of the “normal” grapes. The aim is to obtain juice, wine and berries containing the most concentrated sugar possible, and acidity. The richer the base, the greater the Tokaj, with outstanding balance.

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