#WineWednesday Spotlight #130: Balla Géza Mustoasă de Măderat

Balla Geza
Dr. Géza Balla

When Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay visited Romania, she met with one of Romania’s leading winemakers, Dr. Géza Balla, who she says is the Transylvanian Hungarian:

Géza was one of the first winemakers of Romania who realized, immediately after the revolution, the importance of the quality of the whole range of his wines. Visiting Bella Géza’s Princess Winery is a refreshing surprise. This bright, modern winery, founded in 1999 and designed to welcome the large number of wine tourists who visit every weekend, nestles at the foot of a range of hills overlooking the river Mures.

Balla Geza Winery
Balla Géza Winery in Minis

Dr. Géza Balla is an Hungarian-Romanian from Minis, a old wine district in western Romania on the Hungarian border, that was part of the historical region of Transylvania.

Fluent in both languages, his wines reflect the two cultures. He is found equally at home amongst Romanian wine producers as well as being a member of the prestigious Hungarian Wine Academy. Of his 105ha, he produces 80% red wines, 20% white and somewhere in-between some rosé wines. A few international varieties are present (Riesling, Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot) but the focus is on the traditional varieties of the Carpathian basin: Feteasca Regala, the local Mustoasa de Măderat, and the red Feteasca Neagra.

Balla Géza’s deliciously aromatic Mustoasă de Măderat 2016 has been selected by the Plonk Wine Club:

Balla Geza is one of Romania’s top producers whose mission is to put the country back on the wine map and restore the prestige of the Minis appellation which was once as famous as Hungary’s Tokaj. This intriguing bottling is made of the native Romanian grape Mustoasa De Maderat and resembles the floral aromas and plush, peachy fruit you might see in Alsatian Pinot Blancs. Slightly pink in hue due to some time spent on the skins, this was fermented with wild yeasts and brought up in stainless steel.

Géza, concludes Elizabeth Gabay, is restoring the reputation of the Minis wine region, “giving his range of wines a Romanian, or dare I say it, Transylvanian, character and not a vampire in sight.”

You can read Elizabeth Gabay’s whole article here.