Wines of Hungary

Austria HungaryWith 22 official wine regions, Hungary has an increasing number of wine styles, each marked by a distinct mixture of history and terroir. While the vineyards of the southern grass-lands are quantity driven, in the west, vignerons produce the finest quality wines, gaining more and more international attention. Though this central European country produces so many wine styles, it is mostly known for just a couple of wines: the sweet wines of Tokaj and the deep Bull’s Blood of Eger are notorious. Vintners of Hungary mix tradition with modern techniques to produce some of the best dry whites, from the shores of Lake Balaton in Pannonhalma, Sopron and Aszar-Neszmely.

Provided with a perfect climate, Hungary is blessed with a long and temperate growing season. On the foothills of the majestic Zemplen Mountains, Tokaj is the most famous wine region in the country. Peacefully watching over the River Bodrog, the vineyards of the region bathe in the river’s mists, growing some of the most elegant grapes. As a testament to Hungarian tradition and world-wide recognition, the vineyards of Tokaj-Hegyalja became a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2002 as one of oldest classification of wineries.

With care and passion, the wines of Tokaj require a meticulous process to obtain its appraised qualities. The basis of this wine is hand-picked, dried and rotten Aszú berries; blend with various grape types to add a note of sweetness, this noble grape rot contributes to the region’s international recognition. Used as a key ingredient for various blends, Aszú is often mixed with Furmint, Hárslevelű and Yellow Muscat. A standard Aszú blend contains all these grape varieties, with Furmint being the main one, and with Muscat Lunel used at a very small percentage. Nevertheless, every winemaker has its own secret recipe, most of which will feast your senses. The exquisite wines of Tokaj are at their best paired with Foie Gras (goose liver) and blue cheese counterbalancing the richness and saltiness of this dish.

Tokaji Szamorodni, Tokaji Aszú, Tokaji Aszú Eszencia, Tokaji Eszencia, are all names that send wine lovers on a beautiful adventure, discovering the beauty and distinction of Hungary’s dry or dessert wines. If you are a wine enthusiast looking for a unique adventure in central Europe, a trip to Hungary  will leave deep imprints in your memory. With beauty and tradition at hand, these international producers express their personality through these fine wines and unique dining experiences.

 

Thomas Le, CS.

 

 

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Thomas Le

-Certified Sommelier (CMS)

Napa Reserva -Falling for wine, one sip at a time. TM

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