Website: Gallay Winery
Country Location: Hungary
Gallay Kézműves Pince is the first family owned and operated boutique winery in the heart of the Bükk region in Nyékládháza. Farming on 11 hectares and the best vineyards in the appellation, Gallay is dedicated to sustainable agriculture, environmentally and socially friendly business practices to produce exceptional, premium quality wines that truly highlight the terroir of the appellation.
József Borbély purchased the first vineyards in 1990 in Nyéklákháza. Soon the family realized the region’s potential and started focusing on cultivating grapes. Every year the family estate grew little by little until 2012 when the first bottled wine was commercially released. The winery is named after Isabella Gallay who was the mother-in-law of József. The Gallay family owned multiple vineyards and operated a winery before the first world war but they lost everything after the war ended. Now the Borbély family is working on reestablishing and rebuilding this family heritage. While József cultivates grapes, his younger son Roland is the family winemaker. After earning his degree in viticulture and oenology, Roland’s professional experience started at Cuvasion Winery (Napa Valley, California), Beringer (Napa Valley, California), Pajzos-Megyer Winery (Tokaj, Hungary) and Kovács Nimrod Winery (Eger, Hungary). Today he focuses exclusively on the family winery.
Bükk appellation is located in North-Eastern Hungary, right between Eger and Tokaj wine regions. The entire growing area is 17 636 ha with 15 323 ha classified as first class, however only 1750 hectares were replanted after the phylloxera pandemic. The appellation gained status in 1970 although the first written memories of winemaking are dating back to the 14th century. Today this is an awakening wine region with only a handful of quality wine producers who are working on reviving the region.
In the Vineyard
The family vineyards are located in Nyékládháza, Mályi and Miskolc. The southern facing Pittyén vineyard is located to the west of the village Nyékládháza where only white grape varietals are cultivated such as Zenit, Pinot Blanc and Cserszegi Fűszeres. Vineyards in Mályi and Miskolc are planted with Zweigelt variety exclusively. The soil is deep heavy clay with some marl and forest soil top layers. The climate is moderate continental, dry with an average annual rainfall of 500-550mm. The growing season is relatively warm and dry with hot summers and the most rain falls in July and September.
In the Cellar
Grapes are hand harvested into small bins. For white wine production the grapes are carefully sorted and de stemmed than gently pressed. Free run juice collected and vinified separately. The must is cold settled before transferred into a combination of new and neutral Hungarian-American hybrid oak barrels and large vats for fermentation and aging. Malolactic fermentation always encouraged and the wines aged on fine lies for at least one year without racking. For red wine production the grapes are de stemmed and cold macerated in open tank fermenters. After fermentation the wine transferred into new oak barrels for aging.