FORUM ON THE COMMUNITY WINERIES PROJECT

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With the region's third community winery completed in Tállya, a forum has been held in Bodrogkeresztúr to share experience to date about the Tokaj region's grandest wine production-related project. President of the Tokaj Council of Wine Communities (Hegyközségi Tanács in HU) Péter Molnár and Péter Pásztor, CEO of the Council's non-profit company that manages the projects, as well as two young winemakers László Szilágyi (Gizella) and László Kvaszinger (Kvaszinger), representing the actual users of the new community winery services, took the stage before an audience of mostly local winemakers. The discussion was moderated by Gergely Ripka, author of the Tokaj Guide. Wines made .in these production centres by Bodrog Borműhely, Béla Buza, Gizella, Frikker, Kvaszinger, Lippóczy, Préselő and Serpens were poured for tasting, along with some excellent Hungarian cheeses, for those present.

The Community Winemaking Infrastructure Project was launched in 2016 and involves the construction of three wineries in the villages of Bodrgokisfalud, Hercegkút and Tállya, with a total capacity of 2,500,000 litres, which represents some 10 per cent of the regions' total winemaking capacity. When the Tállya facility opens in December, all the three centres will be in place to offer quality vinification services, from destemming to bottling, to local winemakers at reasonable rates. The Bodrogkisfalud facility also includes Classic Method sparkling wine production and carbonation services, as well. The centres will now offer vineyard management services, too, including GPS-guided planting.

Since the Hercegkút facility opened for the 2018 harvest, the project has been running at a 50 per cent rate of utilisation, the Bodrogkisfalud and Hercegkút facilities' clients numbering some 200 producers.  It is  point of interest, though, that while the original idea was to offer these services to those who only grow grapes and may want to enter wine market, but a considerable number of the users are actually owners of well-established brands (such as Gizella and Kvaszinger), which is obviously due to the very low prices of the community winery services, and not the lack of in-house winemaking equipment.

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