Hidden values in Mád's cellars

Hidden values in Mád's cellars

Some of the cellars in Tokaj-Hegyalja are the same age as the Gothic cathedrals and the men of the past centuries has further expanded them.

Thus, it is understandable when UNESCO declared the Tokaj-Hegyalja Cultural Landscape a part of the World Heritage, it named the cellar rows and cellar systems in the largest number as unique universal values.

However, the values behind the surface entrance of the cellars remain hidden, they are not visible like the buildings and natural values of the surface.

Thus, as long as the 150-year-old surface building is a monument, the 500-year-old cellar below is not known to the public, and even authorities either.

There is no proper record of the cellars themselves, not even the unique values they contain.

Even if you manage to get down to a cellar, the cellar mold covering the walls, obscures many details.

In the old world, lasting, constant temperatures could only be ensured underground.

Cellar mold also plays a role in regulating humidity, which binds on a large surface area, sort of filtering out harmful bacteria from yeasts.
Geological strata can be seen in many places in the newly dug branches or after clearing and carving the vault. These can be rocks of different origins, colors, and minerals.

The characteristics of the legendary variety of soils around Mád can be seen walking underground in the root zone of the vineyards. In the cellars around Árpád Street you can find rocks related to the subsoil of Nyúlászó Street and Táncsics Street.

Underground wine storages can be dug, mined, narrow corridor cellars, these are also called Eastern European-type cellars, while the hall, deepened from above and then vaulted, is what Western Europeans call cellars. The latter only appeared later in our wine region.

The cellars were first carved into the shape of a pointed arched bishop's glass, so that less rock had to be extracted. Later, however, the semicircular shape proved to be the most stable during vaulting.

From a historical point of view, it may be interesting to examine the traces of the original tools on their walls, and it may be instructive to find out where the stone and bricks used for vaulting came from later. There is a working stove, a fireplace in Mád in a cellar on Táncsics Street, 9 meters from the surface.

Wells can also be found in cellars, some of which can be extracted from the surface and basement. Cellars have created real labyrinths underground over the centuries.

A significant but perhaps most endangered group of historical values are the wall inscriptions, about which it is important to know that their creator had to devote a lot of energy to leaving a mark. This could not have been driven by a wandering idea like the creators of today's paint-sprayed graffiti, here the work could only be made after persistent work.
Many people find traditional cellars to be a hassle and an unnecessary expense in today’s world when wine can be stored in air-conditioned buildings with little human labor on the surface. But underground you can see something in Mád like the surface vineyard, is unique, can be used directly from the point of view of the marketing and authenticity of the given wine enterprise and the whole wine region.

Müller István: Cellar visit

In the cellars covered with noble mold, the “Tokaj” ripens, which was called “the king of wines” by XIV. Louis (vinum regum, rex vinorum). There are two types of cellars in Tokaj-Hegyalja, the dug and the hole cellar.
The former was a vaulted space with the same floor plan as the house, accessible from the porch of the house. The hole cellar was not connected to the building, there was only a stone gate structure with a wooden or steel door above the ground. 80-85% of the cellars in the wine region are like this.
The most valuable type of cellar is the cellar maze created over the centuries by connecting hole cellars close to each other.

Discover the treasures of our underground wonders, visit our cellars, find the wines that suit your taste!

Updated: 2022.02.11.

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