Hungarian Wine

Visit some of the 22 Hungarian wine regions to get first-hand experience about the country's great variety of wines.
These regions boast not only with excellent quality wines but beautiful scenery and interesting sights. Besides wine tasting the major Hungarian wine regions have colorful programs to entertain visitors.
Hungary's climate is very favorable for quality wine growing because the average temperature is much higher than let's say in Northern France, and autumn is rather dry with warm, sunny weeks until mid-October (a period often referred to as Indian summer).
The best time to get to these regions to taste wines and discover the beauty of Hungarian countryside is in summer or in September-October, when festive events and programs accompany grape harvests.
This allows Hungary to produce the entire range of classic wines:
  • whites,

  • roses,

  • reds, and

  • Natural, sweet dessert wines
Add the slopes of volcanic origin and you get a combination of natural conditions that with the expertise of talented wine makers result in fine wines.
Rich diversity of both international and local grape varieties is grown in the Hungarian wine regions and a great variety of wines are made from them.

 

Major Hungarian Wine Regions - North-East Hungary

Northern Hungary gives home to two world-famous wine regions.

 

TOKAJ-HEGYALJA (Hill at Tokaj)

            

Perhaps the best known of all Hungarian wine region is Tokaj where excellent sweet dessert wines and full-bodied whites are produced. The honey-like aszú dessert wine is considered to be among the first three of the best wines in the world, brought fame to this wine growing territory.


The uniqueness of Tokaj stems from occurrence of several natural attributes: climate, volcanic soil and centuries-long traditions of wine making.
Major Grape Varieties & Wines: Furmint, Hárslevelű (Linden-leaf), Yellow Muscat,


EGER

        

The Eger Wine Region is also well known outside Hungary mainly for its full-bodied red the Bull's Blood that was widely advertised and exported to western countries during the communist era.
Talented wine makers resurrected viticulture in the Eger wine region and today not only the red wines but whites like the indigenous Leányka, Királyleányka, Tramini, Olaszrizling (Italian Riesling) are on par with some of the top-quality international white wines. 
 

The Szépasszony Völgye (Valley of Beautiful Women) just on the outskirts of Eger offers a scenic palce for tasting wines of Eger.
Major Grape Varieties & Wines: reds: Kékfrankos (Blaufrankish), Merlot, Kékoportó forms the basis of Bull's Blood, 
whites: Leányka, Királyleányka, Tramini, Olaszrizling (Italian Riesling)

 

Major Hungarian Wine Regions - Southern Transdanubia

Two wine regions produce outstanding reds in the Mediterranean area south of Lake Balaton known as Southern Transdanubia.
High number of sunny hours in a year, long history and traditions of wine making, and the unique soil make the following two regions among the best red wine producing areas both on local and international level.

 

VILLÁNY-SIKLÓS Wine Region

        

Exquisite reds are produced on the gentle slopes of Villány and Siklós Hills. In my opinion the best Pinot Noir in Hungary come from the Villány region, but you'll enjoy other red varieties too.
Major Grape Varieties & Wines: reds: Kékfarnkos (Blaufrankish), Portugeiser, Merlot,
whites: Italian Riesling, Leányka an indigenous variety, with elegant, Linden-leaf, which is excellent for making dessert wines
Wonderful wine routes and local cellars welcome wine lovers who want to enjoy great wines within beautiful surroundings in Villánykövesd and Palkonya.


SZEKSZÁRD

       

Kadarka a rich, full-bodied local variety was once the leading wine variety in the Szekszárd region.
In the 19th century it was even exported to France because the French Kadarka matched the quality of their reds. Unfortunately similarly to other wine varieties Kadarka was neglected and almost brought to extinction during the communist decades.
Luckily devoted wine makers managed to preserve this special wine that goes well with traditional Hungarian dishes made with paprika. Besides Kadarka due to the area's perfect blend of natural endowments some beautiful other reds come form Szekszárd: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon.
Szekszárdi people consider their Bull's Blood more authentic and of better quality than the one produced in Eger. My husband and I (amateur wine connoisseurs) also prefer Szekszárd Bull's Blood because of its fiery, velvety texture and rich fragrance.
Major Grape Varieties & Wines: Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Kékfrankos (Blaufrankish), Merlot


 

Major Hungarian Wine Regions - Lake Balaton

Both the northern and southern shores of Lake Balaton have been made for wine growing.
During a wine tasting tour around the lake you can not only discover some delightful Hungarian wines but the experience will be enhanced by the beauty of the landscape and the countless activities the Balaton offers through the year.
The nearness of the lake creates a sub-Mediterranean climate. Wines vary from cellar to cellar depending on which slope stretches the vineyard.

 

BADACSONY

        

The basalt slopes rising on the northern shore of Lake Balaton offer the pleasant combination of breathtaking view and delicious local wines.
Whites dominate the wine scale produced on the volcanic hills of Szt György, Gulács, Csobánc and Tóti. The color of wines is an excellent blend of yellow and green the sight of which makes you want to taste it right away.
Szürkebarát (Pinot Gris) and a local variety Kéknyelű are the cream of the crop wines in the Badacsony wine region.
Major Grape Varieties & Wines: Italian Riesling, Pinot Gris, Kéknyelű

BALATONFÜRED-CSOPAK

        

The Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region nestles in the northeastern corner of Lake Balaton. The combination of the healing waters and the wines make Balatonfüred a popular tourist destination all over the world.
The nearby Tihany Peninsula also belongs to the Balatonfüred-Csopak wine region.
Italian Riesling riches its full potential in this wine region. Its fine bouquet and the bitterish taste resembling almond are unmatched.
The rich, earthy aroma of the Balatonfüred-Csopaki wines is attributed to the red soil characteristic of this region.

BALATONBOGLÁR

        

Very good, light, fruity whites are made on from the grapes produced on the flat area on the south shore of Lake Balaton.
Balatonboglár wines with their balanced acid content provide excellent basis for champagne making.

 

Major Hungarian Wine Regions - Northwestern Hungary

 

SOPRON

        

The Sopron area in the North Western crook of Hungary is one of the most significant red wine producing regions in Hungary. Lying near the border with Austria the Sopron wine region produces wines very much similar to wines made in Burgenland.
The rich, deep red Soproni Kékfrankos (Blaufrankish) is slightly tarter than the ones produced in other Hungarian wine regions.
Due to the cool climate wines have high tannin content and are a bit acidic.
In the Baroque town of Sopron you can admire stunning buildings and cityscape. The proximity of the Lake Fertő promises plenty of opportunities for active relaxation.
Tip: Hay or pine wreaths hung on the gates of houses indicates that you can taste local wines there. White or red ribbon marks whether white, red or both wines are offered. 


ÁSZÁR-NESZMÉLY Wine Region

        

Ászár-Neszmély in Western Transdanubia lies on the slopes of the Gerecse Hills along the Danube.
Exclusively white wines are produced in this winemaking area of Hungary that include major international varieties like Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine Riesling, Tramini and Muscat Ottonel, Irsai Olivér.
The climatic conditions are favorable for making fragrant, elegant whites with high acid content. Ászár Neszmély Wines need at least 5-6 years to develop into top-quality wines.
Cserszegi Fűszeres a unique Hungarian variety, produced in the region by Neszmély Hilltop winery won the award of "White Wine of the Year" in Great Britain in 1998.

SOMLÓ

        

Three hills comprise this small wine region of Hungary in Central Transdanubia where only whites varieties are grown.
The volcanic soil is rich in minerals, which gives an earthy character to Somló wines. You can explore the wine region on 4 wine routes while enjoying the beautiful vista and the historic sights like the St Margaret Chapel along with three their chapel ruins or the Somló Castle from the. Wine making looks back to great traditions here.
Similarly to Tokaj wines Somló wines were also considered to have medicinal and magical qualities, like the wines of wedding nights.
Full-bodied, well-rounded, acidic wines that require long ageing in wooden casks comprise the majority of Somló wines.
Major Grape Varieties & Wines: Somlói Juhfark a Hungarian variety (Hungaricum), Furmint, Italian Riesling

 

 

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The Hungarian Heritage Foundation of the San Francisco Bay Area promotes, shares and educates the public about Hungarian culture, language and art.

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Szilvia Gilbert