Tamás Pók is quiet and soft spoken, but don’t let the stoic demeanor fool you, this is a passionate winemaker. Tamás has seen a lot in his time as a winemaker in Hungary, from the Soviet run co-ops, to free independent wineries, and now the rise of the Natural Wine movement (of which he is a full-fledged member). Originally trained in Ampelography or in layman’s terms the study of grapevine identification and classification, it’s no wonder he has become such a champion of Hungary’s native grape varietals, most notably Leáynka.
Tasting in Tamás centuries old cellar dug into the hills of Eger; it became instantly clear to us we were about to taste some pure “Natural Wine.” It is still to this day one of the more rustic winemaking environments we have ever been to, honestly, I’m not sure it actually has electricity or if the lights are on generator power. No technology is used in these wines, everything is fermented with native yeast, whites are fermented on skins, all punch downs are done by hand, literally with his hands, and then bottled unfined and unfiltered. The longevity of these wines is crazy! To say these wines are fascinating is probably not doing them justice. A lot of little-known grape varietals and “Natural Wine” can be thought provoking, and these are too, but they are also something else, pretty; a trait to often overlooked we think.