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Vida Péter
by
Kathy Sullivan

Vida PeterSummary: Vida Péter, in the Szekszárd wine region, offers wine tastings in a dedicated room in Péter Vida’s home. Péter offers elegant wines along with his own personal philosophy of wine.

On a sunny, breezy day we met Mr. Péter Vida outside his home in the Szekszárd wine region of Hungary. Close to his home is a small vineyard of which he spoke. Soon we entered his home where he has a dedicated tasting room with deep red colors and enhanced with wood trim. He mentioned how people have dealt with wine in this area of Szekszárd for 2000 years. Péter has been making wine for 45 years and yet admits that he does not know anything about wine. Péter is a first generation viticulturist and winemaker. He said that one lifetime is not enough to deal with wine. Péter also noted that he really had to start from scratch after Communism.

Vida PeterAfter we sat down, Péter immediately launched into his remarkable story. He was born near Austria. He talked about how he saw his first grape when he was 11 years old and one of his friends invited him to a press house. They were in a cellar and Péter was amazed to see large barrels of wine. Péter’s thought was, “Who would drink this much wine?” Leaving the cellar he saw a vision of old ladies dressed in black where vineyards were. He had a strong feeling.

Péter’s father was a very stern person who wanted Péter and his brother to learn the value of hard work. His father gave them a half hectare vineyard. Péter and his brother had to learn to work the vineyard. On occasion someone would come to show them what to do with the grapes. By the second year, no one showed them what to do. They had to do all the work on their own. For Péter, the third year was the worst as his brother went to the University leaving Péter to do all the work himself. Péter did not like the vineyard work and in addition, did not know how to make wine. However, the grapes spontaneously started to ferment. Péter did rack the wine.

Eventually Péter entered wine into a competition. He put the wine in three bottles with a label with his father’s name on the label. One Sunday, Péter’s father opened the newspaper and read that his wine won first place and Péter’s father started to cry. He said to Péter, “God will help you with your work.”

Péter left the cooperative in 1995 and started producing wine on his own. He bought another 1.4 hectares of vineyards. During his first 10 years, he had many experiences. One was when the Prime Minister wanted Peter’s wines at an event. The Prime Minister introduced Péter first.
In 2011 Péter was chosen as Winemaker of the Year.

Vida PéterVineyards

Today Péter has 23 hectares (57 acres) of vineyards and is producing 80,000 bottles. He does most of the viticulture work and supervises the other vineyard workers. At the time of our March visit, buds were beginning to break forth on the vines.

Péter also produces the wines. He has a son who is working with him. A daughter who is in marketing plans to work for the winery.

Philosophy

Péter commented that, “Wine is a human being like us. When it is young it doesn’t know what it is doing. As it matures it gets better. Wine is a miracle of God. You can talk about wine and color, smell and taste. But wine is about harmony. I showed a Merlot to a wine specialist. The woman tasted the wine and never said anything. She tasted the wine a second time and she never uttered a word. She tasted the wine a third time and she started crying. This is harmony.”

Vida PéterWine Tasting

Tündérrózsa 2018 with 12.5% alcohol was a blend of Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Pinot Noir. Péter commented that this wine is the “rosé of fairies.” The salmon colored wine offered an aroma of red berry fruit. The taste was of red raspberries with a hint of strawberries. The finish was crisp and fruity.

Vida Péter2016 Tündértánc (dance of the fairies) had 12.5% alcohol. The wine was a blend of Kékfrankos and Merlot. It had an opaque dark ruby color. The aroma had notes of black fruits. The taste was of black berries with a medium body and mild tannins. The wine was fruity. This is a wine to sip and enjoy during a conversation.

2016 Ölelés (a hug) was a Merlot wine. The wine was an opaque dark ruby color. The aroma included dark fruits and spice. The mouthfeel was silky. The taste was of blackberries and black cherries. The wine had a medium/full body with medium tannins. The finish was fruity with a bit of spice - like a hug. The aftertaste was long.

The 2016 Bonsai with 12.5% alcohol was produced with 100 year old Kadarka vines. The wine was a translucent red color. The aroma was of red cherries. The silky mouthfeel included red cherries and red raspberries. The wine was medium bodied with mild tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity. Kadarka is a princess, all you have to do is admire her. A princess comes in the door and you do not have to announce she is a princess, you just know. Pair this wine with lamb and use it in a sauce. This wine will age for 10 to 15 years.

The 2016 Bikavér with 13% alcohol was a blend of Kadarka, Kékfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Cabernet Franc. The dark ruby wine offered aroma notes of dark fruits. The mouthfeel was velvety. The taste had notes of red and black raspberries and blackberries. The wine was medium bodied with medium/bold tannins. The finish was crisp and fruity with some spice.

The 2015 Hidaspetre was produced with Kékfrankos grapes from one of the best vineyards. This wine, with 12.5% alcohol, offered an aroma of dark fruits. The mouthfeel was velvety. The full-bodied wine had bold tannins. Black raspberries with a hint of spice were noted. The finish was crisp and fruity with a hint of spice. This was an elegant wine.

The 2013 La Vida, with 13.5% alcohol, was produced with a blend of Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and Kadarka. This wine is the flagship wine of the winery. The wine was an opaque dark ruby color. The 2% Kadarka is like a violin chord struck once. The aroma included black fruits. The wine had a velvety mouthfeel. Black cherries, blackberries and some spice were noted on the taste. The finish was fruity yielding to spicy. This is an elegant wine that showcases the region.

In this region, Vida Péter is producing fruity elegant wine that people will fall in love with and find harmony. When it was time to leave, we left with one of Péter’s thoughts, “Everybody is on this earth for a purpose.”

Vida Péter
7100 Szekszárd, Napfény utca 27/A, Hungary

 

 

Article written April 2019.

 

 



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