Importer of Memorable Wines from the New Old World of Eastern and Central Europe
Importer of Memorable Wines from the New Old World of Eastern and Central Europe

Kikelet, Tokaj, Hungary

Founded in 2002
Website: http://tokajkikelet.hu/

“Our goal is the production of Tokaji wines, both dry and sweet, with a uniqueness of character, that are beautiful, elegant and meaningful ambassadors of the wines of Tokaj.”—Stéphanie Berecz

Stephanie and Zsolt
Stéphanie and Zsolt Berecz

The People

Like her compatriot Samuel Tinon, Stéphanie Berecz is a French eonologist who initialy came to Hungary to work at the Disznoko estate, a property owned by the French insurance company AXA. In 2002, she and her husband Zsolt founded Kikelet Pince in Tarcal near the town of Tokaj, a village where Zsolt's family has been living for over two hundred years. Regarding the winery's name, the story is that Stéphanie didn't want a name containing any of the "funny" Hungarian letters like ű, ü, ö, ő. So they chose Kikelet, which means springtime in Hungarian. Year after year, they gradually acquired different lots around Tarcal (Lónyai, Vati, Farkas, Lestas, Kassai) and today, they farm 5 hectares of south/south-west facing vineyards planted half with Furmint, half with Hárslevelű.

farkas vineyard
The Farkas vineyard


The soil in Tarcal is volcanic covered with a layer of loess. While aszú wines from Tarcal's loess terroir get the right amount of moisture and are known to be particularly elegant, nobody before them had tried to make dry wines in Tarcal. But with limited yield and carefully selected grapes, Stéphanie and Zsolt have shown that they could produce dry Furmint and Hárslevelű that are elegant, balanced, and full-bodied.

Furmint grape
Furmint grape in the Farkas vineyard


The Berecz family house has a two centuries old cellar partially carved into the rock where the wines ferment and mature in oak casks. The winery produces around 11,000 bottles annually, including dry and semi-dry Furmint and Hárslevelű, some from single vineyards or dülős, late harvest wines, Szamorodni, and hand-picked aszú wines.

The grapes are whole cluster pressed. Fermentation occurs with native yeast without going through the secondary malolactic fermentation. The must is then racked and put into French and Hungarian oak barrels. Aging is on the lees. Most of the barrels are about 4 to 10 years old with a few new Hungarian for the Furmint. The Hárslevelű has no new oak to preserve the fruity flavors of the grape without being overwhelmed by oak.

In 2014, Stéphanie has been awarded by her fellow winemakers the prestigious title of „winemaker of the winemakers”.

SIn the cellar
KikeletHárslevelű Birtok 2017
White Wine
3 g/l
7.5 g/l
A Hárslevelű blend from selected lots. Fermented and aged in barrels. Flowery nose, notes of honey, vibrant and complex on the finish.

KikeletHárslevelű Lonyai 2017
White Wine
4.8 g/l
7.4 g/l
In contrast to the Origo blend, Stéphanie never blends anything with Lónyai. This is a stand alone site. Tarcal is usually defined largely by loess soils, but it is of course more complicated than that. There is also chalk, dacite, and perlite that make vineyards like Lónyai susceptible to erosion but not as water retentive as clay. The acids here are sour and need aging, but once they balance out, it’s one of the most elegant and intense Hárslevelűs in the region. Built to age, ideally we drink this 3-5 years after vintage.

KikeletLate Harvest 2011
Dessert Wine
Hárslevelű; Furmint; Zéta; Yellow Muscat;
71 g/l
6.5 g/l
A blend of 35% Hárslevelű, 20%, Furmint, 20% Zéta, 15% Yellow Muscat. Partial and whole bunches with bortytised berries were harvested at the end of October. After direct pressing, they fermented and aged in oak barrels for six months. An expressive and elegant nose shows notes of apricots, white flowers, and muscat aromas.The palate is delicately sweet with a nice texture and freshly ripe fruit. Enjoy the wine chilled as an aperitif. It also goes well with dishes inspired by Asian cuisines and with cheese.

KikeletOrigo 2016
White Wine
Hárslevelű; Furmint; Kövérszőlő;
4.5 g/l
7.8 g/l
This is a brand new project for Stéphanie. Over time she’s come to believe that the best way to capture the “Kikelet,” meaning “spring,” is to blend Furmint, Hárslevelű, and Kövérszőlő when possible. Her style is already more or less based on short macerations, no crushing, and not racking until bottling. This 2016 was fermented in barrel, aged 5 months, and then kept fresh under screw cap. This “Origo” is a pure look at the origin of what she loves about her terroir and the kind of acid and soil driven wines she loves. Straight on the palate with an elegant structure, this wine is built on the refreshing, taut acidity of the vintage; it feels almost bone dry. Citrus, lime and pomelo take the lead, complemented by a slight mintiness, along with some green apple and peach.

KikeletSparkling 2013
Sparkling Wine
5.6 g/l
7.2 g/l
This traditional method sparkling wine is a 100% Hárslevelű blend. The grapes were harvested in late October from 45-year-old vines in the Lónyai and Kassai vineyards. The base wine was fermented in 230-liter oak barrels and the secondary fermentation in bottle, then aged on fine lees for 1.5 years. Clean nose with notes of ripe green apple and acacia flower. Crisp, aromatic, light-bodied palate with fine bubbles. Fresh, well-balanced and highly enjoyable!