As summer is slowly turning to autumn, our village and the surrounding areas transform into a busy beehive. Of course, September is the harvest season of a lot of fruits and vegetables, but our volunteer-home is famous for one in particular: grapes.
Etyek is a part of the Etyek-Buda wine region of Hungary. Grapevine plantations have been present on this area since around the 11-12th century. Through its long history there have been a lot of changes, adaptations and loss. After the Turkish subjugation, Serbian people started to settle down in this area and red wines took over most of the production here. At around 1830 city people started showing more interest in white types so there was a major change at that time as well. The flourishing wine commerce had to sadly face the phylloxera (an insect pest of grapevine) outbreak that hit the continent in 1874, killing nearly 2/3 of the grapes. It was hard for this area to get back on its feet but in 1989 it finally got the official wine region title.
Back to the present times, we are doing our best to support local producers. September is a time frame for wine producers that requires to act quickly, because of the various faces of this month. If a sudden rain hits the fields, it can make the grapes rot quickly or even damage them. We were happy to land our hands to help the harvesting process to a local winery called Nádas. The work is quite monotonous but it has to be done by at least two people, picking the grapes from both side of the plant and this creates a good chance for chatting. Szilárd and Vera, the owners of the winery also made sure we had everything that we needed, came and harvested themselves and were also happy to share some knowledge and fun facts. We harvested pinot noir, chardonnay and a Hungarian type of grape called „királyleányka” (meaning „little princess”), that is a typical type of this region.
Me, as a Hungarian was happy to meet local elderly people who shared some stories about the village, stories of the german people living here and I even got to know that our Szatyor house was a kindergarten back in the days!
As a reward, the owners were kind enough to give us a box of their products, so that we could taste the fruit of our work.