CZ | EN | DE | PL

Marcincak Special Wines

fotospecialnivinaThe specialties of vintner Peter Marcinčák are straw and naturally-sweet wines that have enchanted wine lovers with their complexity and extraordinary harmony of tastes. These jewels among wines are not made to be drunk “all evening long” (as they say). Rather, they are a matter of high gastronomy, to be drunk on special occasions. Special wines from the Marcinčák winery have won a number of prizes, most recently the Award of the Association of Parisian Sommeliers.

In making special wines the most important thing is to get the water out of the grape by natural methods, and increase the concentration of sugars, acids, and other minerals contained in the individual grapes. The law on winemaking allows only three methods of drying out the grapes: by using the useful mold botrytis cinerea to produce botrytic selection wines; by freezing to make ice wines; or by a long process of drying on dried grass to make straw wines.

The production of special wines places high demands on the quality of work in the vineyard during vegetation, and work in the cellar in processing the grapes and making the wine. The making of special wines is the highest expression of the vintner’s craft, requiring expertise on the part of the enologist, a lot of experience, patience, but also courage and the willingness to risk.

Special wines require the use of healthy grapes only, from pre-selected vineyard tracts, with special agricultural technology, and the most low-impact means of protection possible against pests and diseases.

Production of attribute and special wines falls under the strict oversight of the Czech Agricultural Food Inspector (quality inspection) in all important phases of production, beginning with inspection of the vineyard and the health of the vines upon registration, to inspection of quantity and quality during harvest, and control of quantity and sugar content of the must during pressing.

Botrytic selection

The extraordinary microclimate of the vineyards around the village of Novosedly is influenced by the nearby River Dyje and the Pálava Reservoirs into which the Dyje empties, bring morning fogs in the autumn and hot sun during the day. These are ideal conditions for the the appearance of the useful mold botrytis cinerea. Vintner Petr Marcinčák was the first of Novosedly’s vintners to begin taking advantage of this gift of nature, and has been producing botrytized wines since 1999. The noble rot dries the grapes, increasing the concentration of sugars and aromatic substances.

The desiccated grapes (actually raisins) are then pressed, yielding a high-quality must with a higher content of sugar, acids, and mineral substances. These wines give off an aroma of flowers, honey, and candied fruit (apples, peaches, apricots, pineapple). They are full-bodied, refined, but at the same time lively, elegant, and velvet smooth.

Ice wines

fotoledovevinoThe production of ice wines is a very difficult process, as the grapes must remain on the vine until the winter freeze, the onset of which is very unpredictable. Sometimes the deep frost doesn’t come until the Christmas season or after the New Year. For that entire time the grapes are affected by the sun and by morning frosts that are not deep, but help the gradual freezing of the water contained in the grapes. Harvest can take place only after temperatures reach –7° C or lower, and the grapes must remain frozen for the entire time they are being processed. When the grapes are pressed, the frozen water, pits, and peels are gently separated from the concentrated juice. The must acquired in this way must each at least 27 degrees of sugar content. Usually, however, the sugar content of these musts is ell over 30 degrees. Likewise, further processing requires a great deal of experience, for the must is highly concentrated; the wine yeasts do not do as well in such an environment, and great care must be take during fermentation.

Ice wines are heavy, full, very aromatic with fruit and honey scents with a hint of peach, apricot, tropical flowers, and citrus fruits.

Straw wine

fotoslamovevino2The outstanding qualities of straw wine are a result of the very difficult process by which it is made, which also requires a good deal of expertise on the part of the vintner, and a lot of manual labor. Grapes intended for making straw wine are grown on previously selected vineyard tracts. At the time of their full ripeness they are sorted, and only absolutely healthy bunches are harvested and stored in special ventilated areas on a bed of straw. Here the grapes must dry for a minimum of 3 moths, according to the wine law, and must have at least 27 degrees sugar content. Extraordinary care must be taken of the grapes after they have been laid down, for like all other picked fruit they have a tendency to go bad. This is probably the most difficult phase of production, requiring nearly constant attention. As one of the first to make straw wine in this country, winemaker Petr Marcinčák goes his own way and applies his own production methods developed over the years: he leaves the grapes to dry on the straw for 4-6 months, until the must attains anywhere from 40-50 to as much as 60 degrees sugar content.

Afterward, the grapes are removed from the straw and pressed entire, along with the stems. The very gentle pressing takes 36 hours, and the useful product comes to some 10-15% of the original weight. The must thus acquired is highly concentrated, and resembles freshly harvested honey. During fermentation the alcohol content reaches some 11%, with a high degree of residual sugar up to 370 g to a liter. The straw wine is then placed in barrels to mature.

Straw wines are heavy, full, rich, elegant, and velvety, with an extraordinary bouquet of flowers, honey, candied fruit (pear, apple, quince, peach, pineapple, mandarin orange), with a taste that combines a honey-like sweetness with refined acidity.