The „origo” of Kéknyelű grape variety

Folly Kéknyelű, Badacsony

We, Hungarian wine maniacs might tell you:

–     Hey, why not taste a Kéknyelű? It is indigenous, and so unique, you can find it only in Hungary, and only in Badacsony wine region.

And you can righteously answer:

–     Well, I know that ’kék’ means ’blue’ in your awkward language, and even though Kéknyelű is a white wine. Okay, I get the point: Kéknyelű is unique, but what should it taste like?

At this point, we can describe you what Kéknyelő should taste like according to the text book:

  • In good vintages it gives elegant wine with creamy structure and subtle, fine acidity. Rare grape variety that is capable of giving exceptionally high quality wines.
  • Well, that’s nice, but too broad, I still don’t have a clue…

But, thanks to a workshop organized recently, we can go on explaining, what’s more, we can show you the „origo”, the wines that represent Kéknyelű grape variety truly and perfectly.

„Milestone” event in the history of Kéknyelű

Gergely Istvándy, owner and winemaker of Istvándy Winery created and organized a Kéknyelű tasting and workshop to specify the origo of the variety, to define a style that should be pursued in the future. 30 wineries presented their Kéknyelű wines and the wines were blind tasted by wine experts like Gergely Istvándy, András Horkay WSET dip, Bence Laposa (winemaker, Laposa), Bálint Földi (winemaker, Sabar Wine House), Dániel Ercsey (editor in chief, WineSofa). After a long discussion, they selected 10 wines which represent the variety at its best. The 10 wines are the following (not in quality order, but in alphabetical order):

–     Csendes Dűlő Vineyard 2013
–     Folly Arboretum and Winery 2017
–     Fölföldi Béla wine cellar 2016
–     Istvándy Winery 2016
–     Istvándy Winery 2015
–     Sipos Wine House 2016
–     Skizo Wine House 2017
–     Szabó Winery 2017
–     Szászi Estate 2017

Photos: Attila Papp

Folly – passionate about plants

This winery is relatively new in Badacsony wine regions, though the family have been cultivating the most noble plants for generations. If you are in Badacsony, their fascinating botanic garden is unmissable. And, as the above described workshop proves: the recent generation is worthy of the founder great grandfather: Folly Kéknyelű is an exceptional wine, therefore it is a good example of Kéknyelű variety. The grape was harvested in the middle of October, the wine was fermented and matured in stainless steel. Pale greenish yellow colour, medium intense nose with white flesh fruits, white flowers, citrus fruits and some herbs. Elegant, perfectly balanced wine.

José Vouillamoz grape genetician and co-authors about Kéknyelű

Kéknyelű is quite likely of Hungarian origin. Very popular among the winemakers, though it is hard to cultivate.  It ripens relatively late, therefore it needs protection from the hungry games living in the forests of Badacsony and Szent György mountain. Planting alternate rows with a variety such as Budai Zöld encourages more consistent pollination.

 “Kéknyelű, meaning ‘blue stalk’ and referring to the slightly blue tint of the petiole, is an old variety probably originating from the Badacsony region in western Hungary. The alleged synonymy between Kéknyelű and the Italian Picolit mentioned in the Vitis International Variety Catalogue has been disproved by DNA profiling.”

Excerpt From: Robinson, Jancis; Harding, Julia; Vouillamoz, Jose. “Wine Grapes (9780062325518).” iBooks.

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