Organisers of the Tokaj-Hegyalja Market, Enikő Lengyel, Judit Fortuna, and Krisztina Somogyi (from right to left in photo) have received the 2017 Takács András Memorial Award. (Katherine Chapman, who used to also run the English-language blog of the Market, was sadly unabel to attend the event.) On 5th April, the presentation of the award kicked off a half-day conference on heritage conservation and regional development, in the village of Bodrogkeresztúr.
Since its launch in April 2012, the Tokaj-Hegyalja Market has become a firm fixture on the Tokaj events calendar and a must-stop on any weekend trip to the region. Taking place every second Sunday of the month around Sárga Borház Restaurant on the Disznókő Estate, the Market is more than just a gathering of local producers and crafts people offering handmade products (including cheese, meats, jams, honeys, vinegars, oils, fruits, vegetables, pottery, soap, wooden toys, jewellery, clothes and more). It is a full-blown food and wine event with live folk or jazz music, guided wine tasting sessions and exhibitions – and a popular place to meet and mingle with locals and visitors alike.
András Takács was a Tokaj advocate who devoted some five years of his life working for and protecting the interests of Tokaj's winemaking community and World Heritage values. To honour his memory, BOR-VIDÉK, the winemakers' association he took part in setting up, established an award in 2014 that recognises exemplary efforts in preserving and promoting World Heritage values in the Tokaj Wine Region. András Takács had been entrusted with advocacy for Tokaj by a group of leading wineries being at the forefront of a region-wide protest against a projected straw-firing power plant in the town of Szerencs back in 2006. He was instrumental in laying the foundations for a regional development plan that reconcile the region's World Heritage status with the need for economic development. He worked full time planning, networking and lobbying towards this goal until his tragic death in the summer of 2012.