New vintage Hërka Chardonnay from Vylyan Vineyard and Winery (Villány wine region) has just been released: fresh and sassy, enchanting and attractive, just like the young lady it was named after. The nose is a complex bunch of aromas: tart lime, saltiness, crispy yellow apple, juniper, cedar, vanilla. The palate is juicy and rich, lingers on for a while to lengthen the experience. But who was this young girl named Hërka or Harka?
The devil’s faliure
Once upon a time there was a blonde girl, Harka, who was so beautiful that even the devil fell in love with her. In his desperate love the devil agreed with the old witch (Harka’s mother) to plough the rocky mountain of Harsány within one night. The job seemed impossible: the rocky surface was hard and solid, nobody had been able to plough it before him. The witch told him: „if you don’t succeed, you have to promise to go back to hell immediately!”The devil was strong and devoted: it was not even midnight when he almost finished. The old witch loved her daughter, she was afraid of losing her, so she was thinking hard to come up with a solution. Finally she ran to the hen house and started to crew, just like roosters do at dawn. Though sunrise was hours away, she could woke up the neighbour roosters, who replied to her voice, and suddenly the cocks of the whole village were crowing. The devil was shocked, he had not finished yet! He was furious but had to leave, the place where he went down the hell is still there in the town of Harkány, hot water has been coming to the surface since there to supply the famous Harkány spa. And if you drive from Harkány to Villány, you can still see the traces of his plough, a quarry on the rocky mountain.
Fabulous wines from the fable
Vylyan Vineyard and Winery is situated in Nagyharsány, some of the vineyards are located on the legendary mountain. The estate built a whole imaginary wonderland around the legend, several characters appear on labels of different wines of their portfolio. Hërka is one of the most popular wines of Vylyan made of 100% Chardonnay, with the enchanting legendary girl on the label. The mother witch appears on another white wine made of 65% Olaszrizling and 35% Rhine Riesling, and it is called Boszorkány (’Witch’). The figure of the rooster appears on the rosé of the estate, Kakas (’Rooster’) is made of 78% Merlot, 13% Zweigelt and 8% Pinot Noir.The devil himself represents a blend of Zweigelt, Blaufrankisch and Merlot, it is called Ördög / Belzebub (’Devil’).
The winery is celebrating the 25th anniversary of the first bottled wine this year. While Hërka and the others represent the entry level of the winery, there is a premium line of which labels have just been renewed– though at the moment of this article they have not been revealed yet, thus we will introduce them later on.
When the Devil’s Cauldronis full of artists
Every August Nagyharsány and its neighbouring villages host a cross cultural festival, and the sunny, grassy terrace of Vylyan is an important location of the event. Concerts, plays and other performances are held on the open air stage, while visitors are having good time with glasses in hands. And in the glasses? The familiar figures, of course. Herka, the Witch, the Rooster and the Devil. If you want to meet them, don’t miss the next Ördögkatlan (Devil’s Cauldron) Festival on 30 July – 3 August.