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Pipacs és Pillangó Pince is a young winery owned by Zita (Zizi) Volford-Hull and her husband David Hull and located in the village of Lovas on the beautiful north shore of Lake Balaton in Hungary. What began many years ago as a love of wines grew over the years into a burning interest in wines from all over the world. Extensive reading and travel to some of the world’s major wine regions turned our interest into a passion. With the help of the broad selection of wines available to us in Ontario, Canada we went on a virtual tour of the world of wines learning and tasting as we “travelled”. Our passion for wine grew even stronger.

Zizi was born in Veszprém, Hungary and grew up in Balatonfüred, a major tourist destination on the north shore of Lake Balaton. As a young woman, she lived and worked in Germany and Austria. Later she lived in Canada for 11 years. In addition to Hungarian, Zizi is fluent in both German and English. David was born in London, grew up in Zimbabwe, returned to the UK for several years and then migrated to live in Canada for 33 years. David had grown to love Lake Balaton and so, in 2007, when he retired, we moved to Zizi’s birth-place to live permanently in the village of Lovas, in this wonderful part of the world.

As Balaton is one of Hungary’s major wine regions, living here has inspired us to further pursue our passion for wine. It was our opportunity to turn our passion from a dream into a reality. Zizi attended wine school in Balatonfüred in 2007 and graduated as a wine-maker in May 2008. We started making white wine in 2008 at the cellar of friends in Lovas, learning from them and learning also by doing. We spent 5 years working with our good friends before we started making wine on our own. Pipacs és Pillangó Pince was formed in 2012 when we decided that we would like to make red wine because we believe that the Balaton wine region is also suited to the production of high quality red wines. We bought a small piece of land, cleared it completely and started from scratch.

We planted our Cabernet Franc grapes in the early summer of 2013 and our Merlot grapes were planted in the autumn of that same year. While our grape vines were gathering their strength, we decided to purchase some Merlot and Cabernet Franc grapes and begin learning to make red wine. In all, we spent three years (2013 to 2015) “learning by doing” in order to feel comfortable working with red grapes and confident that we could move on to the next stage of making red wine. It was a very different process than we had learned by working with white wine. We had to do a significant amount of research, reading of books and talking with red wine makers. We had a lot to learn and only a few years to get ourselves ready.

In 2017, when our vines were 4 years old, we had the first full harvest from our own vineyard. It was a bumper year both in terms of quality and quantity of the grapes. For us it was a very exciting “baptism by fire”. Over the years we have learned the Wine maker’s lesson number one – during the growing season, Mother Nature is in charge! We have to accept the challenges that nature throws at us and do our utmost to protect our grapes but, we are not in charge. Once the grapes are harvested,
it is our job as wine makers to create something special from what nature has gifted to us. We are determined to put all of our continuously growing experience and personal energy into playing our part in this exciting process.

 

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