Terroir aspects in development of quality of Egri bikavér

Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) is one of the most remarkable Hungarian red wines on inland and foreign markets as well. From the end of the 70’s the quality of Egri Bikavér was decreasing continually due to mass production. The concept of production of quality wines became general in the mid 90’s again and it resulted in a new Origin Control System, for the first time that of Egri Bikavér in Hungary.
In the present study, the effects of different terroirs on wine quality are discussed in the case of Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch) variety, which is the main component of the blending of Egri Bikavér. The experiments have been carried out in Eger wine region of Hungary. Soil characteristics, mesoclimate and phenological stages were examined at six growing sites. Grapevines in extreme growing sites were described with plant physiological parameters (net photosynthesis, water relations) and canopy structure was also studied. The grapes were harvested at the same time and winemaking technology was the same as well. Beyond the routine chemical analyses, the contents of anthocyanins and polyphenols were also analysed. During the sensory evaluation, the wines were described with radar plots of various parameters.
Remarkable differences were found between the growing sites based on the results of sensory and laboratory analyses. The differences can be explained by the results of soil properties, microclimate and plant physiological measurements. The results of this work may be helpful when the appellation origin control system of Egri Bikavér Superior Eger and Egri Bikavér Grand Superior « terroir » are to be developed.

Authors: Lajos GAL (1), Sándor ORBAN (2), Tibor GAL (3), Tamás POK (3), Zoltán SZILAGYI (1), Erzsébet SZUCS (1), Zsolt ZSOFI (1) and Borbála BALO (1)

(1) Research Institute for Viticulture and Enology of the Ministry of Agriculture, Eger, H-3301 Eger, P.O. Box 83, Hungary
(2) College of Eszterházy Károly; H-3300 Eger, Eszterházy tér 1, Hungary
(3) Egri Bormíves Céh (Union of the Best Wine Makers of Eger); H-3300 Eger, Nagykőporos Str. 11, Hungary

Email: balob@ektf.hu

Keywords: soil, microclimate, vine physiology, wine quality, AOC of Egri Bikavér

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