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Leading Hungary winemaker Laszlo Bussay dies

One of Hungary's greatest winemakers, Dr László Bussay, died yesterday after a long illness, aged 56.

Dr László Bussay was a leading figure in Hungary’s Zala region (Image: bussaypince.hu)

Bussay was born on 4 June 1958 in Baranya, Southern Hungary. After graduating and working for a short time as a doctor in Pécs, he moved to Muraszemenye, Zala, a small village in South-West Hungary, to be the family doctor of five villages.

He established his winery in Csörnyeföld in 1988, a village on the border of Hungary, Slovenia and Croatia, where he worked day and night to build up a very renowned winery of 5.5 hectares.

His Olaszrizling, Riesling, Pinot Gris and Traminer wines were considered to be among the top whites of Hungary.

He won a number of Grand Prixs for his wines at international wine competitions and in 2006 Decanter magazine crowned his Esküvé 2004 as one of the top 10 Rieslings in the world.

Until his death, he worked as a doctor and parallel to it, as a winemaker and became the leading producer of the Zala wine region. A philosophical man, Bussay had a fantastic knowledge of wine, and opened the eyes of many local young vinegrowers to see the huge potential of the terroir of the Zala region.

In 2009 he was elected to be a freeman of Zala and in 2013 he was awarded a state distinction, the Knight’s Cross of the Hungarian Order of Merit.

Bussay leaves behind a wife and two daughters.

Written by Gábor Cseke

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