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Gál Tibor
Kathy Sullivan

GSummary: We visited Gál Tibor in Hungary’s Eger wine region on the third Saturday of March, while a monthly event Slow Market was in progress. We soon met Veronika Gál for a wine tasting, discussion and presentation. The winery is home to the first Bull’s Blood Museum.

We arrived near the center of Eger and could feel the enthusiasm pervading the air as we approached the entrance to Gál Tibor. Certainly some of the excitement was due to the wines; however, on the third Saturday of the month, the winery holds a special event designated as Slow Market Day. The first stop past the gate, was a tasting of the 2018 Ti Ti. This wine was a blend of Traminer and Szürkebarat (Pinot Gris). The light yellow colored wine offered tropical notes on the aroma. The taste included peaches, pineapples and papaya. The finish was crisp and fruity. This wine was a great selection for people to taste as they walked around to visit the vendors. Beyond this table, several local farmers and crafters had set up tables with an array of products available to purchase. Products available included: jams, meats and jewelry.

As we made our way to the building, we met Veronika Gál, sister of Tibor Gál Jr., winemaker and viticulturist. Veronika is in charge of hospitality for the winery. Located so close to the center of Eger, the tasting room was very busy on the day of our visit.

Gál TiborWine Cellars and Museum

The building was purchased in 2012. Veronika took time to show us the wine cellars that are 500 years old. Oak barrels line the walls of the cellars. The winery is located about 1 kilometer (a little more than half a mile) from the tasting room and cellars.

After walking through the cellars, Veronika led the way upstairs to a quiet area where we could taste the Gál Tibor wines and learn more about the winery. An adjacent room is used for presentations and as an unusual wine museum focused on Bull’s Blood wine. For Veronika’s presentation, she used a colorful and insightful slide presentation that focused on the history of Bull’s Blood wine, the Eger wine region and the vineyards where the grapes come from. The name for the wine is attributed to a siege of Eger Castle in 1851/1852. We enjoyed the presentation which for us was in English.

After the talk, we wandered through the museum to observe the large clear plastic tubes that showed the samples of soil from the vineyards. A small unique aroma table offered an opportunity to test our sense of wine aromas. Each individual scent was in a black stemware glass and covered with a small top. On one side of the top was a question mark and the answer was on the opposite side of the top.

Gál Tibor   Gál Tibor   


Veronika’s father Gál Tibor, was a winemaker who consulted around the world including the countries of Italy, Georgia, South Africa and Romania. In the early 1990s, Gál Tibor founded the Gál Tibor Winery. He instilled a love of wine in Veronika and her brother, Gál Tibor Jr.


Currently the winery owns 37 hectares (79 acres) of grapes in five vineyards. The Nagy-Eged, with 1.03 hectares (2.5 acres), has limestone soil. The vineyard is home to Kadarka and Furmint grape varieties.

The Sikhegy vineyard, with 13.81 hectares (34 acres) has a soil of clay and brown forest soil. Several grape varieties are planted here including Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Traminer, Leányka, Kékfrankos, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Portugieser.

Pajados vineyard has 15.11 hectares (37 acres) with rhyolite tuff soil. The varieties growing in this vineyard included Kéfrankos, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Kadarka, Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Blanc.

The fourth vineyard is Afrika with 3.73 hectares (9 acres) and has a clay, lymph soil on tuff. Grape varieties include Királyleányka, Traminer, Riesling, Cserszegi, Hizers and Leányka.

The final vineyard is Tornyos with 4.08 hectares (10 acres) and has clay and forest soil. Kékfrankos grows in this vineyard.

Gál Tibor Wines

Gál TiborThe winery is currently producing 150,000 bottles. Spiegelau stemware was used for the wine tasting. The 2016 Fúzió with 13.5% alcohol was a blend of Viognier, Sauvignon Blanc and Traminer. The wine was aged in barrel for eight months. This wine was a yellow color. The aroma was tropical fruit and the taste was of melon, peach and pear. The mouthfeel was soft. The finish was fruity yielding to mineral.

The 2017 Kadarka had 11% alcohol and the wine was a translucent red color. The cherry aroma was followed with a taste of cherries and baking spices.The finish was crisp, fruity and spicy. This is “A good breakfast wine.” Consider also pairing it with sweet paprika. The wine was light bodied with mild tannins.

The 2016 Kékfrankos with 14% alcohol was a translucent ruby color. The aroma was of black raspberry and spices. The taste included notes of cherries, black raspberries and baking spices. This full-bodied wine had bold tannins. The finish was fruity and spicy.

The 2016 TiTi Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) was a blend of Kékfrankos, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Cabernet Franc and Portugieser. The wine had 13.5% alcohol. The aroma was of red and black fruits and spices. The taste had notes of red and black raspberries and spices. The wine had a soft mouthfeel, full body and medium/bold tannins. The finish was fruity and spicy.

Gál TiborThe 2015 Sikhegy Grand Superior had 13.5% alcohol. This is an Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) wine. The wine was crafted with grapes from the Sikhegy vineyard that includes: Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Traminer, Leányka, Kékfrankos, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Portugieser. The aroma was of black and red fruits. The taste included the aforementioned black and red fruits including raspberries plus baking/Christmas spices. The mouthfeel was full-bodied with medium/bold tannins. The finish was fruity.

After the wine tasting and presentation, we enjoyed a lunch that included several plates of Hungarian foods including: fish and sausage with sliced bread. Delicious! Veronika mentioned that in Hungary it is common to share plates of food. It was fun to share the lunch.

While visiting Eger town with its Eger Castle, historic buildings, and farmers market, consider stopping at Gál Tibor for a wine tasting. Also plan to stop on a 3rd Saturday of the month for the Slow Market experience.

Gál Tibor
Eger, Csiky Sándor u. 10, 3300 Hungary



Article written April 2019.



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