Kövecs Olaszrizling – Bussay Winery
Kövecs is the name of the Bussay family’s best vineyard parcel, where they solely plant white varieties. The soil here is mostly gravel and clay, and is strongly influenced by sediment from the nearby Mura river. Olaszrizling is relatively easy to grow, not too sensitive to vine diseases, and produces wines with a balanced acidity that can be enjoyed fairly young. For these reasons, it was Hungary’s most planted white grape variety until very recently. It is also an important variety all over Central and Eastern Europe, and is found under different names— Welschriesling in Austria, Laski Rizling in Slovenia, and Grasevina in Croatia (where the grape probably originated). It’s no wonder that Olaszrizling does so well in the Zala region—it is surrounded by other fantastic Olaszrizling producing areas—Styria, Austria and the Prekmurje area of Slovenia are both known for their crisps Olaszrizling. This wine was spontaneously fermented in 1,000 liter previously-used oak casks. It spent five months aging on its lees, which gave it a creamy texture and fresh pastry-like aromas (like fresh baked croissants and crackers). There are also lovely rich and ripe aromas of peaches and pears. This wine has a balanced acidity, and a long aftertaste. It is a really good example of the type of high-quality wine that can be produced from the Olaszrizling grape. This wine would be delicious paired with grilled fish, smoked fish, fried chicken, or cheesy pasta dishes.
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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.
|Country||1-3 bottles||4-6 bottles||7-12 bottles|
|Austria||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Belgium||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Bulgaria||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Croatia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Czech Republic||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Denmark||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Estonia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Finland||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|France||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Germany||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Greece (mainland)||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Hungary (outside of Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||4,500 HUF|
|Hungary (Budapest)||2,500 HUF||3,500 HUF||Free delivery for orders over 20,000 HUF|
|Ireland||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Italy||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Latvia||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Lithuania||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Luxembourg||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|
|Netherlands||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Poland||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Portugal||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Romania||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Slovakia||7,800 HUF||8,300 HUF||9,500 HUF|
|Slovenia||10,200 HUF||10,500 HUF||12,200 HUF|
|Spain||19,900 HUF||21,200 HUF||23,800 HUF|
|Sweden||13,800 HUF||14,500 HUF||15,900 HUF|