Pálffy Szőlőbirtok és Pince
· The territory of today’s Köveskál was already populated in the Neolithic era. There are several evidences besides wells and springs.
· During the age of the Roman emperors, there were several villa economies in the Balaton area, in Pannonia province (1-3.). There are many villas from the roman age on Fekete-hegy, where traces of viticulture have been found. Below the main road through Köveskál, there is a roman aged street.
· The village was a gentry place. The whole village and its population engaged in viticulture and winemaking.Köveskál and its people got noble rights. The only tax to be paid was wine tax.
· In the 1500s the Ottoman Empire started to expand and they took over most of the Kingdom of Hungary, but they couldn’t reach the Balaton area. Köveskál emptied a couple of times but its people always came back when the danger was over.
· In the 1700sthe families in Köveskál started a commercial relationship with Styrian (Austrian state) wine making families. Sometimes these Styrian families paid for the wines in advance because they didn’t want local traders to buy them. Some of these relationships became very tight and lasted till WW1.
· The Pálffy family has been living and working here since the beginning of the 19Th century.
· The Pálffy family has been growing grapes and making wine for 7 generations. István Pálffy came to Köveskál after the Hungarian Revolution of 1848 and he started a family here. We don’t know exactly how big their estate was, but during the communism every land was taken away. After the end of communism 2.5 ha land was given back to the family.
· Bottling the wine started in 1998. They had 2.5 ha land back then. Today the family owns 19 ha. Every territory is under organic cultivation so they only use sulfur, copper spraying, infusion.
· Organic/ Bio/ Eco-friendly. Since 2006 no chemicals used. No herbicide (weed killer, extirpator), pesticide, chemicals used. Only sulfur and copper, but they use as little as possible. They spray with plant extracts and conditionals, e.g.nettle, orange oil, cumin oil.
· Short or medium height cordon (royat)
· Yield regulation depending on the grape type, 1-1.5 kg/grapevine)vine-plant
· Harvesting entirely by hand
· Wine- making
· Every wine is spontaneously fermented. They put efforts to be natural to be able to represent truly the capabilities of the Káli-basin. White grapes: whole cluster pressing in a pneumatic pressing machine. Gentle pressing.
· In case of serious selection wines they use small oak tree barrels for fermentation. Its volume is 225l, not new, used many times beforehand. Mainly French barrels.
· Aging on lees in barrel, at the right times stirred (Battonage)
· They don’t break up the malic acid, they avoid it by sulfuring.
· They let the white wines age for cca. 10-12 months, then after filtration, distillation they bottle the wines.
· Sub Mediterranean climate. Sunny hours/year: 2200. Rain in a year: 600mm. The highest and biggest in size volcanic mountain in the Balaton Uplands is the Fekete-hegy (448m). This is where we produce grapes on 6 ha.
· Fekete-hegy: the soil is volcanic basalt, trap-tuff. The vineyard is at 250-310m above sea level, at the upper part of the mountain. There is a rare precious stone that can be found on Fekete-hegy, in the basalt which is the Olivin crystal. This can only be found on the upper part of Fekete-hegy.
· Mező-mál: We have 10 ha land there. Very warm territory. Grape production here since the beginning of the middle ages. Diverse soil, basalt, limestone and red sandstone.