Voted for by Angels on our 2015 Summer Tasting Tour
- Karoly is helping us tap into the top Tokaj wines in Hungary.
- His passion for his homeland shines through in his wines, his desire is to show Angels just how good wines from Tokaj can be.
- He believes the joy he feels whilst making the wine can be tasted in each glass. Bring on the joy!
Map of the Vineyard
Károly Áts's Story
"I was born in Sárospatak, Hungary in 1965, and was raised in the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region, grapes and wine have been part of my entire life. My father worked at the Tokaji Wine Collective, and we cultivated our own vineyard together as well. At the age of 14, I was faced by the big question: “What next?” Acting on my parents’ advice, I decided to attend the Budafok Technical School of Winery in Budapest. Later I obtained a degree in oenology at the University of Horticulture.
It was during my years in Budafok that I came to understand the meaning of commitment. I had a lot to thank the University of Horticulture for - that was where I also gained reliable wine-tasting skills. Today I am a firm believer that tasting lies at the heart of everything. As a young man, when my friends and I were frequently tasting one another’s wines, I noticed how Tarcal (one loess-covered area) wines were ready by the beginning of the year following the harvest, whereas the wine from my father’s vineyard in Mád (rocky soils) would take even one or one a half years to age in the barrels before it was worth drinking. Whenever I wondered about the reasons, my father would just tell me: “Because it is from Mád”.
It was not until many years later that the answer incomprehensible back then became clear, and now, with nearly a quarter of a century of experience as an oenologist, I begin to discern the Tokaj wine region’s versatility and the peculiar character of its historical vineyards. Naturally, wine can also be produced elsewhere, but I have always desired to show the true capabilities of Tokaj, the region where I was born and raised, and which represents home and security - the place where I know every stone and every blade of grass.
Because I believe that wine always conveys the winemaker’s personality my wines hopefully radiate happiness and the love of life just how I feel. I always try to think positively, or joy would not permeate the wine. Because good wine can only be made by a happy winemaker.
Tokaj is my homeland that I consider a miracle. I was born into a family where my father and mother taught me to respect and love nature. My father would say ‘Son, just be yourself and no one else’. And that is all I wish to be. I always wish to be that Karcsi Áts whom he taught me to be."
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