Balaton-felvidék Wine District
The Balatonfelvidék (“Balaton Highlands”) designation refers to the section of the northern shore that stretches from Keszthely to Zánka, with the separate appellation of Badacsony wedged in between.
Administratively, the district includes the following communities: a) Balatonhenye, Hegyesd, Köveskál, Minszentkálla, Monostorapáti, Szentbékkálla in the Kál subdivision; b) Balatonederics, Csabrendek, Lesencefalu, Lesenceistvánd, Lesencetomaj, Nemesvita, Sáska, Sümeg, Sümegprága, Zalahaláp in the Balatonederics-Lesence subdivision; c) Balatongyörök, Cserszegtomaj, Gyenesdiás, Hévíz-Egregy, Rezi, Várvölgy, and Vonyarcvashegy in the Cserszeg subdivision. The Balatonfelvidék has a total of 5,164 hectares authorized for district status, but only 1,497 hectares are actually under cultivation.
In terms of climate, the continental pattern prevails, albeit in light of recent years it may be regarded as bordering on the sub-Mediterranean.
The bedrock is mainly composed of dolomite, limestone, and marl (shale), in the Kál Basin mixed with volcanic clast.
The olaszrizling grape claims the largest growing area and the deepest historic tradition, almost to the point of making the Balatonfelvidék a monoculture. It is followed by chardonnay and szürkebarát, as well as rizlingszilváni, tramini, and zöldveltelini. This quintessentially white wine area has a red enclave around Lesence, where pinot noir goes back for over a century.
Perhaps the most firmly etched wines of the district come from the Kál Basin, where the mineral-loaded soils yield intense acidity and a certain stiffness of character that can be tamed by sufficiently ample alcohol. All things considered, the wines of the Balatonfelvidék tend to be long-lived and very amenable to extensive aging in wood. The expression of true varietal character and terroir is a function of maturity and low yields (Source 1).