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Csókaszőlő – Bussay Winery

Csókaszőlő is a rare, ancient Hungarian variety, which is experiencing a small revival. In addition to Bussay, there are just a handful of other producers who grow Csókaszőlő. Like several other Hungarian grape varieties which have been revived in the past decades, Csókaszőlő owes its comeback to winemaker Jozsef Szentesi in the Etyek-Buda region. Szentesi has a passion for planting old Hungarian varieties, and then sharing them with other wineries. In 2004 Szentesi was the first winery to commercially produce Csókaszőlő after almost 150 years. Bussay was next. Csóka means jackdaw (a type of bird) and szőlő means wine. Its name comes from the fact that, like the bird, the berries have an almost black color. The Bussay winery has just 0.7 hectares of Csókaszőlő planted, and only produces one barrel of it every year. It was the favorite variety of the late Dr. Laszló Bussay, who founded the Bussay Winery. These days Dr. Dorottya Bussay, Laszló’s daughter, runs the winery, following her father’s vision. She also fell in love with Csókaszőlő, even though it is very difficult to grow, due to its sensitivity to vine diseases. This wine was spontaneously fermented in an open tank. Two-thirds of it was aged for 10 months in a 1,000 liter previously-used oak cask, and the rest was aged in stainless steel tanks. In the glass, this wine has a purple color and aromas of violets, cherries, and blood oranges. On the palate, it is crisp, fresh, and juicy. It has a nice spiciness, with blood orange and sour cherry flavors. This is a unique wine. It is worth enjoying with a simple pepperoni pizza or pasta dish.

8,590 Ft


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*Prices shown include Hungarian VAT (27%). Final prices are calculated based on the VAT of your shipping country.

Tucked away in the far southwestern corner of the country, the Zala region has around 2,000 acres of vineyards planted. Believe it or not, that is’nt even small enough to make it Hungary’s smallest wine region! Zala is Hungary’s third smallest wine region (after Somló and Pannonhalma.) Zala borders Austria, Slovenia, and Croatia. It is characterized by gentle, rolling hills; lots of greenery and wildlife; and scattered patches of vineyards, which are sometimes hidden in forests. Its proximity to the Austrian Alps gives the region a cooler climate than that of nearby Lake Balaton. This cooler continental climate makes for rich, elegant wines with crisp acidity, lots of aromas and fruitiness in the glass, and moderate alcohol. Slovenia and Croatia are just a stone throw away, and influences from these countries show in the style of the cellars, the culinary traditions, and the wine styles.

Winemaking here dates back to the Celts, continued with the Romans, and was then taken up by different ethnic groups, including Hungarians. The region developed great fame for its ürmös bor (a local version of vermouth) in the 1700s, which was made from aromatic red grapes and herbs. In the late 1800s winemakers in Zala began focusing on table grapes, and the region slowly became overshadowed by Lake Balaton’s wine regions. This is perhaps why Zala is such a charming place to visit today—with untouched forests, unique wildlife, traditional thatched houses, and plentiful pastures of cows and sheep. The locals take great pride in foraging for herbs, mushrooms, and berries, which often show up in the region’s culinary specialties.

The soil here is mostly rich black forest soil, mixed with clay and loess. About three-quarters of the grapes are white varieties, with Olaszrizling being the most popular. There’s also a good amount of Riesling, Pinot Gris, Gewürztraminer, and Grüner Veltliner. Pinot Noir is the most important red, and there is also some Kékfrankos, Csókaszőlő, and Syrah. Zala wines were traditionally aged in large oak casks and kept in simple thatched wooden barns.

This sleepy wine region was put on modern Hungary’s wine map by the late Dr. László Bussay. He was 29 when he finished medical school, and started his own practice in the area. His dream was always to make his own wine, like his grandfather. In 1989 he found a perfect spot, where he built his family home and winery, surrounded by a five hectare estate with breathtaking views of the vineyard-covered hills. László Bussay received numerous awards for his wines, as well as for his work in promoting the Zala region.

The Bussay Winery is located in the Zala region, which is in the far southwestern corner of Hungary. It’s one of Hungary’s smallest and least-known regions. Much of the region, including the Bussay Winery, straddles the Croatian and Slovenian borders, and the River Mura moderates its climate.

The Busy Winery is located in the Csörnyeföld village, on the border of Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia. The winery was founded by Dr. László Bussay in 1988, and until his death in 2014 he was a leading figure in the region, in addition to serving as the local doctor. László’s daughter Dóra now runs the winery, and is the village doctor. At the winery she has a partner in her husband, Tamás Kis (who also makes wines at his own winery in Somló, Somló Vándor). Bussay has 5.5 hectares of vineyards, and has been fully organic for the past three years.

Country1-3 bottles 4-6 bottles7-12 bottles
Austria7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Belgium10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Bulgaria13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Croatia10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Czech Republic7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Denmark13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Estonia13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Finland19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
France13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Germany7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Greece (mainland)19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
Hungary (outside of Budapest)2,500 HUF3,500 HUF4,500 HUF
Hungary (Budapest)2,500 HUF3,500 HUFFree delivery for orders over 20,000 HUF
Ireland13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Italy13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Latvia13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Lithuania13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Luxembourg13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
Netherlands10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Poland7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Portugal19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
Romania10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Slovakia7,800 HUF8,300 HUF9,500 HUF
Slovenia10,200 HUF10,500 HUF12,200 HUF
Spain19,900 HUF21,200 HUF23,800 HUF
Sweden13,800 HUF14,500 HUF15,900 HUF
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