The disease Filoxera – Phylloxera vitifolli- was brought to Europe from North-America in the 1860s, destroying entirely in two centuries’ time two thirds of France’s vineyards. The filoxera disaster then broke into Eastern-European wine-growing countries – and the damage was equally huge. This terrible disease reached Hungary in 1875. A large number of ancient Hungarian species disappeared in such an unprecedented disaster – the only ones left where those carefully handled and replanted by devoted farmers. Thank God and an unknown wine-farmer for saving Pintes for future generations!
Some stocks of this species were found in 1968 by Márton Németh, Hungary’s greatest ampelographists, on the wine hills near Pécs-Cserkút, in the South of the country. According to Németh the species belonged morphologically to the pontus system, among those of middle-asian origins. Its production values were examined by Ervin Kiss in Badacsony’s Reasearch Center – he is also the one who invented the name Pintes, being the species’ middle age-name unknown and because of its extraordinary productivity – the ’pint’ is a Hungarian unit of measure, and one stock, infact, is capable of producing something like 1 pint (1,6 litres) worth of wine.
Pintes’s stock and plants are medium strong, with broad, silver-grey broad leaves. The round, long and bloomy berries are placed on well-built, medium ripe bunches. The skin is hard and does not crack. It’s a juicy, soft type of grape, to be harvested in warm climate, at the end of September, beginning of October. Its resistance to winter is good, with a medium sensitivity to mildewy, and so is its resistance to rottening until full maturity. It has been a registered species since 1977. In the beginning it was tested and used as base-wine for champagne, because of its huge acid content. In the Eighties some central plantations were established for further research on Pintes – by now, only 1.5 hectares in Csáford have survived.
Our family has acquired this territory in 1996, in the form of state indemnity. The species was completely unknown to us. We didn’t know how it should be grown, how sensitive it was, when it was mature enough, and what we might expect following the first harvest. Pintes was first launched at a wine competition in 1997, winning immediately a gold medal. It has eversince been competing with good results.
The Hungarian Post has issued a stamp in the 2005 series dedicated to „Wine Areas in Hungary”, including Pintes to represent the Wine Area of Zala. Let us thank dr. Csizmazia Darab József and designer Pál Varga for their outstanding work.
Pintes’ wine is characterided by its pleasant scent and flavours. This corpulent wine, by a late harvest and rich in acids is a real Hungaricum, which is only produced in a few thousand bottles yearly. The flavour is a unique specialty among the wide range of European wines. It is becoming more and more popular among wine-lovers
We are proud to be the keepers of one of Central Europe’s most ancient wine species. We keep trying our best to preserve its values with our best knowledge and possibilities.