Bükk is awakening

Of the twenty-eight wine regions in Hungary, Bükkalja is the least known, which is no wonder, since bottled wine hardly comes out, and wine festivals, tastings and wine bars do not even have a look for the Bükk. With two exceptions.

In the person of Roland Borbély and Zsolt Sándor, we are greeted locally patriotic, young and talented producers, who seem to have waved the Bük wine region.

In the Great Hungarian Wine Bar, Dániel Ercsey, a wine-maker, describes the Bükk wine region as well:

“The villages are not loud on the noise of mass tourism, we do not stumble on Japanese-style groups, sliding-faces and cathedral-like staircases. However, there is good air for them, there are familiar spas, small taverns, cool cellars, hot furnaces, shady forests and marked hiking trails, birds and of course silence in all quantities. Ruins in the mountains guard the villages, valleys offer nursing mothers and tiny little bungalows. (…) The wine region is waiting for exploration and it is worth exploring. ”

But the great technological development and grape reconstructions at the wine-growing level have not yet arrived, and as long as some large investors do not see the opportunity in Bükk, they will have to wait. Without slowing down capital, there is still a slow development for the time being, but it is hoped that there is a contemporary quality reference for the wine region, including Roland Borbély (Gallay Pince) and Zsolt Sándor (Zsolt Winery of Sándor).


Bükkalja – which only rose to the wine-growing rank in 1970 – has 17,700 hectares of its current size, of which about 15,000 hectares of I. class farmland, but according to a 2011 mountain community report, only 1,500 hectares of land planted with vines. The Bükk mountain range is best suited for vineyards and its southern side, Bükkalja has excellent facilities: from the north and 900 meters the plate protects from the cold winds, and the lower parts are limpidly and gradually sinking into the Great Plain. Although the most characteristic mineral of the mountain range is limestone, in the southern parts of the volcanoes, a large amount of riolittufa has been deposited, which is now mainly found in loess, clay-smelling forest ointment and lymphatic drainage. In terms of its average temperature, it is typically a northern, cool wine region, the Bükk, which – many people say – offers a good variety of fragrant white varieties and reds such as pinot noir, kékfrankos or zweigelt.

Gallay Boutique Winery

Borbély Roland has mastered his winemaking skills , or at least the essence of it, overseas in California. When he arrived back home, he and his parents established a small estate – as they call it – a boutique winery that now has 11 hectares. The vines can be found on the best vineyards of the region: Nyékládháza, Mályi and Miskolc. His focus is on the types of Zenit, Pinot Blanc and Zweigelt. Roland’s brother living in The States and his dear friend in Budapest, Zsuzsi, also helps him, and it seems that family teamwork is gaining more and more: the Gallay wines, which are naturally produced without adding additives, are smothered by the top restaurant and gastronomic segments so much so that there is as much wine as possible in the cellar, which consumes the family’s own consumption Trying to cover it.

The 2012 vintage “Bistronauta” consists of the zweigels of limestone Zúgó and Lippa slopes in the top cobbled, sloping soil layers. Its raw material is roasted in an open tub after being smoked for 15 to 17 days. A slight, 120-liter discarded sawing was carried out and after settling it was rested for 2 full-length 225 liter and 3 500-liter aces blades for two years. Its color is medium intensity ruby red, smell of cedar-blue, beginning with ginger, gently spicy, fresh and harmonious. The tannic acid shows a mature image, working uniformly throughout the mouth. The acids are lively and playful, while the body and the alcohols (12.5%) are well-suited to the requirements of easy-to-use yet “I still want”. Its flavor is dominated by fruits, two years of wood barrels are here or there. There is a great shortage of these types of wines today in Hungary, and the value of Bistronauta is greatly enhanced by the fact that we can respect one of the fundamentals and breed references of Bükk.

Sándor Zsolt Winery

Zsolt Sándor and Borbély Roland’s brain is very much a spring, just as it is about wine making; As Roland, Zsolt is also an advocate of organic vine cultivation and spontaneous fermentation. The almond acidification of Alexander the Reds is also spontaneous, bottled and uncut, unfiltered and honest. The current size of Zsolt is 5 hectares, which for the time being cultivates zweigelt and Cserszegi spicy grape varieties. However, as you say, the idea of restructuring is already very mature in it. In fact, Beech can produce rather acidic wines, and while this is a great opportunity for whites, Zsolt says that it is problematic for the reds – specifically Zweigelt. High acidity, however, can conserve it well, and it can provide a slow, even bottle-like development, which favors a large and bulky zweigelt, such as the winery’s name “Legény”. But a looser, lightweight, zweigelt structure in the mid-range can cause significant imbalance. Therefore, according to the winemaker, it is contemplated that the experiments in the Bükki wine region, which are able to produce balanced and elegant wines in a cooler climate with more acidic soils, will continue in the future for pinot noir and kadarka, ie varieties.

The fruit of the “Zúgó-völgy” is the “Legény”, with only 296 bottles, and the winemaker looks at the cellar’s flagship. Its scent is a mixture of red and dark berries, notes of blackberries, ribbon notes and spicy, most peppy presence. The acid sensation is dominant while the tannin is moderate. The wine’s body is medium-sized, its alcoholic is optimal. Its proportions are beautiful, but its finest state can only be achieved after 1-1.5 years of aging in bottles if it is left out of it at all. Anyone who has already paid for it does not hesitate to wait until the “Legény” leaves the adolescent behind.

©[2015] Demijohn

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