„István Balassa, a teacher in biology from the start, came in contact with wine-making by pure accident in 1999. It didn’t take him long to fall in love with the handicraft and a few years later he started his very own winery. Starting up a winery isn’t cheap and if the ambition is quality above all, it takes some time to find the sites one wants. István owns some of the parcels himself, others are rented.
Both István and László at Gizella Pince shows a side of Tokaj, and Hungary in general, which few knows of; a dynamic approach to wine and lots of enterprising. They both have the product, one that I’m pretty sure will be highly appreciated for it’s unique style and terroir, but now the hard and sometimes discontolated efforts called marketing, needs a boost in the right direction.
Hungarian wine is bought and drunk in… Hungary. The wines have good visibility domestically and many producers receive some well-deserved attention. If you’re a boutique winery you could settle with this, but then that’s just like monoculture, risky business. To rely on one market. No, Tokaj and it’s new and dynamic producers are worth a bigger audience and we, the consumers, will be amazed how great dry Furmint can be. I’ve said it before and are happy to repeat myself; this is perhaps the region to dig into the most the coming years.”