The wines of Gilvesy, Balaton, Hungary


Robert Gilvesy grew up on a farm on Lake Erie in Ontario, Canada. His parents were Hungarian, and he visited for the first time aged 15. The lure of his homeland was a strong one, and after working as an architect in Paris he moved there once the Berlin Wall had fallen. He established the winery in 2012, rebuilding the old cellar, and his farming has been organic since 2014.

Gilvesy is a winery based on a very specific terroir. Mount Saint George (Szent György-Hegy) is an ancient volcanic butte just south of Lake Balaton. Soils are based on volcanic basalt, which has eroded and is topped with loess, sand and clay in different places. It sticks out from the plain as a small mound, and this is the terroir that convinced Robert to make wine here. He has a mix of established communist-era vineyards and those he’s planted himself.

The cellar dates back to the 17th century and was later part of the Esterhazy estate. Gilvesy grow Riesling, Furmint, Olaszrizling and Sauvignon Blanc.


Gilvesy Pezsgö Traditional Method NV Balaton, Hungary
Lively and focused with lovely taut citrus fruit, good brightness and nice acidity. Linear with intense citrus fruit. Impressive. 91/100

Gilvesy St George Cuvée 2019 Balaton, Hungary
12.5% alcohol. Organic. This blends together Rajnai Rizling, Olaszrizling and Furmint. It’s a fresh dry white with a lovely chalky, mineral texture under the pear and citrus fruit. There’s a little bit of mandarin and white pepper, too, adding a sort of spicy, fruity flourish to the finish. Amazing purity and quite a bit of delicacy, showing vibrant lime and lemon with freshness and precision. 91/100

Gilvesy Pixu Furmint 2019 Badascon, Hungary
No added sulfites until bottling, and does full malolactic. Refined nose of pear and citrus with some fine spicy notes. Lively, mineral and very expressive with subtle creamy hints. 93/100

Gilvesy Váradi Furmint 2019 Badascon, Hungary
Very linear, fresh and taut with a crystalline character. Shows lovely precision to the taut lemony fruit, and a distinctive mineral character. Very fine. 94/100

Gilvesy Tarányi Rajnai Rizling 2019 Badascon, Hungary
12.5% alcohol. Organic. Single vineyard Riesling from the south slope of the Mount Saint George extinct volcano. 50 year old vines. Lovely aromatics here: lemons, white pepper, fine herbs, some floral notes and a touch of mint. The palate has good concentration with fine yellow plum and pear fruit as well as a grainy, mineral, slightly chalky texture. This is fresh, fine and dry, with lovely fruit presence and a really nice spicy, mineral mouthfeel. 93/100

Gilvesy Váradi Furmint 2018 Badascon, Hungary
12.5% alcohol. This is lively and intense on the nose with a lime and lemon thrust as well as a hint of spice. The pepper has lively lemony acidity with some pithy grapefruit character and a bit of structure. Real intensity here with a big acid blast but also vivid fruit: it’s very Furmint in character, with a touch of apricot and marmalade on the finish. There’s also a spicy citrus note at the end of the palate. A really interesting, concentrated white wine. 92/100

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