Kadarka, don't push me!

This is the inscription on the decorative water bottle, which is one of the most precious pieces among the material memories collected from Kadarka by the cultural historian and ethnographer László Mód. In the framework of the EduWine project, which was realized with cooperation across the Hungarian-Serbian border and supported by the European Union, a Kadarka Salon combined with a professional presentation, tasting and city tour was organized in Szeged.

Southern Great Plain and Vojvodina winemakers presented their Kadarka wines in Szeged, at the specialty store of the Borháló chain on Gutenberg Street. At the Kadarka Salon, 11 Kadarka rosé, siller and red wines could be tasted. Márta Molnár-Major, the manager of the store, presented the participants, and Eszter Csókási, the head of the development agency of the DKMT Euroregion, presented the main aspirations of the project supporting Hungarian-Serbian winegrower cooperation.

Middle and higher education, students' experience-gaining trips to each other's countries, and the exchange of professional education methods are prominent among them. It is no coincidence that the leading partner of the project is the EDUCONS private university based in Sremska Kamenica, which in the South-Eastern European region tries to train managers and intellectuals who can operate competitively within the framework of the market economy and the rule of law in a complex and practical way, within the framework of face-to-face and online education. layer.

Cultural historian and ethnographic researcher László Mód gave a presentation in the Kadarka Salon about the nearly half-thousand-year-old history of Kadarka, as well as the material and cultural environment related to it. He recalled many well-known poems, songs, 20th-century cabaret scenes that can still be viewed on YouTube, which are connected to Kadarka. Although few physical memories have survived, one of the most beautiful is the water bottle made as a gift, on the side of which the maker wrote: Kadarka, don't rush!

Kadarka was brought to Hungary by Serbs fleeing to the north during the Turkish subjugation, where it was later taken over and cultivated for centuries by the Hungarians and the Swabians who settled in the depopulated regions. It did not become popular by chance: handling both grapes and wine was extremely simple. In the wood-poor Alföld, they were happy that it didn't need a support system, and fermentation was easy in the kác barrel, which narrowed upwards and resembled a tall tub. The wine was easy to drink even without pressing, decanting, or clarifying.

László Mód told that the statue of St. Orbán, who protects the grapes, was also erected in the Csongrád wine region. Flowers were brought to him if the grapes produced well, but if the harvest was bad, it happened that dry oil was tied to the back of the statue and lit. The saying that "one must bow before all capital" is also symbolic, since when the branches grew, they had to be connected. At harvest time, they bowed down to all capitals again - although if the cluster had gathered well in the pot, they preferred to do it.

The most beautiful bunches of the late-ripening kadarka were eaten as grapes. The farmer's wife went before the harvesters and selected the best grapes. The helpers, whose acquaintances of course helped them with their work, were rewarded.

Nevena Djokic and Nemanja Brkljaca, representatives of the EDUCONS university, answered our question: Kadarka is currently produced in only two production areas in Serbia. They also have viticulturist training in a vocational high school, and at the university they train engineers in the technical and technological faculty. The major is popular, many young people are interested in it.

Krisztián Juhász, who represented the Tonkovics winery in Királyhalm, spoke to our portal about the encouraging results. They produce only Kadarka, and make four types of wine from it: white, rosé, and two reds. Their Fantasia and Rhapsody are named after Ferenc Liszt. They also renewed the great composer's habit of sending the best wine to the Pope every year.

They have developed a technology with which they can protect the grapes. At the time of flowering, all the leaves are taken off, which induces the plant to produce smaller clusters. This way, it is not necessary to carry out cluster selection, the eyes are smaller, they do not touch, the light reaches them well, and there is little chance of gray rot.

In the Tonkovics winery, Kadarka can also be produced economically. If their unusual technology succeeds on a large scale, it can elevate the historic variety back from premium premium wines to successful, profitable varieties on the market.

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