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This represents a mental gearshift diametrically opposed to that of the Soviet era, when bureaucrats cranked out quantity, and tossed a collective wince at any notion of quality. Hungary's vineyards were even greater in size before the country felt the yoke of communism: by the end of the 18 th century, the area under vines was 1. Today, two thirds of Hungarian wines are white. Although the country's most widely planted white is the crackingly acidic Olaszrizling no, not a Riesling , its most touted grape is the candied, sometimes creamy Furmint.


Hungary has 22 wine regions five of which clump, like friendly neighbors, around Lake Batalon. Below is a quick exploration of a few better known regions. These retain the historical pedigree and quality that gained them favor as popular tipples for European and Russian royalty centuries ago.

Eager young winemakers in Tokaj now experiment with dry white wines, and thereby add an expanded, novel tasting dimension to that region.

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Many winemakers use Hungarian oak to add spiciness to wines with straightforward acidity, but stick to French oak for adding a softer touch. She originally studied economics, then took courses in winemaking and moved to this region five years ago.

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Her family's winery now sell two thirds of their production within Hungary, and also works with partners in Poland, Germany, China and Belgium. They are still developing markets in the U. The magic of Tokaj is that you can experiment. You can make dry wines, sweet wines, a lot of different wines. This is very challenging and exciting.

This is not a flagship grape in Tokaj. It has the character of a lot of honey and flowers. I see that Tokaj is moving forward, because there are lots of young people and they want to make things happen. They put themselves into marketing, into winemaking not eight hours a day, but 12 or They work very much and have lots of aims to achieve.

When I started in Tokaj I preferred, obviously, Furmint. The aromas, fragrances are much nicer, stronger and the taste is more concentrated from what I experienced before. The Eger wine region is also northeast of Budapest, though closer to the city than Tokaj. It produces both white and red wines. An excellent highway crosses a mildly rolling landscape of wheat, cornfields, hay bales and billboards that resembles Missouri or Kansas in the U. However, he considers two of these grapes somewhat problematic for the region.

We have really big rains. Some in Eger are working to reap success with Syrah. The terrain north of Lake Balaton largest in central Europe includes humpy volcanic hills. Temperatures are moderated by nearby lake waters, which average only ten feet three meters deep. Its upper third is wooded, while the lower portions include homes, steepled churches and vineyards. Vines circle the entire hill over soils that include pea size chunks of basalt. Many whites here are on a quality par with those from Alsace in France, or the Finger Lakes of New York, but may have even greater potential for aging.

Little wonder wine has been produced here since the year Oaked Furmint wines from here can be rich and honeyed, perhaps with a ribbon of mild spearmint—and will be approachable to drink after bottling or within two years sample an excellent, well priced wine from Tornai Winery.

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  • When the communist era died, the vine's local homeland had whittled down to less than two acres about a hectare. In Persia, wine was also thought of as a divine gift.

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    • Today, it is thought that some of the finest grape vines stem from precursor species cultivated by the Persians. However, it is also believed that the Phoenicians, masters of seafaring, were the people responsible for the spread of winemaking techniques to such areas as Greece and Italy—especially the region of Tuscany. Winemaking greatly prospered under the Catholic Church who held widespread influence over Christian Europe.

      Christian monks of France and northern Italy kept records of their winemaking practices and grape cultivation. These records helped various regions match themselves with the best variety grape for their soil.

      Continues: History of Wine in Roman Times. Your email address will not be published. Recipe Rating. Email Address. Save my name, email, and website in this browser for the next time I comment. Sipping wines in the cool stone cellar is a perfect way to end a long day of sightseeing in the area. Learn more about wine tasting in Buda Castle. The city has more than 30 bars, bistros, cafes that carry a wide selection of wines , both local and international.

      Opening hours: Mon — Fri: In the shop you can select from around types of excellent quality wines. Advanced booking is required. A great variety of wines from Hungary and Italy tasting for either smaller or larger groups is available. Apart from wine, you can also get here various wine accessories : glasses, coasters, decanters, cork-screw, gift boxes and bags. A real Mecca for wine lovers: around 1 types of wines from Hungarian, Spanish, Italian, French and other foreign producers.

      The Story of Tokaji Wine

      Advanced booking is necessary. The good thing is that these events offer entertainment not only for wine connoisseurs but a series of dance shows, concerts, food and cheese stalls, children programs ensure that everybody finds something interesting to do. This festival is rather crowded due to its premise which is one of the most popular tourist areas in the Hungarian capital without the wine festival.

      Admission: approx. Junibor Wine Festival by the Basilica — you can meet and taste the wines of the young generation of local wine makers. Gastronomy and other wine-related programs accompany the 4-day event August or end of September. Nearly 30 bars and cafes participate in the event in both Buda and Pest.