Our favourite wine regions
– It wasn’t easy, but we made our choices
Wine-tourism has became extremely popular in the past years in Hungary. Although it is a relatively small country, it has 22 wine regions, all of which are slightly different. Whether it’s a light white wine, a full-bodied red or some wine specialties, everyone can find something to their liking.
We have a number of wine-loving colleagues on the QTH team, and we are always happy to organize unique wine programs for our groups. This is the reason why we decided to present our own favorites and we hope that we may give some inspiration to our next oenology group.
Eszter – Somló
It is often said that Somló is just like the hat that the Lord left behind. It is our smallest wine region, but one of my favourite ones. Thanks to its soil rich in basic volcanic materials, the wines have impeccable structure, characteristic salty notes and great ageability. You can find here several autochthonous grape varieties, like Olaszrizling, Juhfark, Furmint and Hárslevelű.
The Juhfark of Somló is often referred to as “wedding night wine”. Many European monarchies’ traditions held that consuming this Somló wine on their wedding night would ensure that the heir to the throne would be a boy!
Mónika – Mór
Mór is located between the hills of Bakony and Vértes. It dates back almost 500 years, after the expulsion of the Turks, when German settlers were moved in to supplement the reduced Hungarian population. The settlers naturalized the Rhine Riesling and German viticulture. Mainly white wines are typical, like Riesling or Móri Ezerjó – which is the most famous wine of the region. Mór has a good dry and acidic wine, we recommend it especially with fatty and heavy foods. In addition to the wine, traditionally they offere a special savory dry cake, this is called Zwiczkl.
There are many wineries to visit, offering the wine bottled or directly from the barrel. Mór itself is a small picturesque town; its main sight is the Lamberg Castle, which is definitely worth a visit.
Zsuzsa – Szekszárd
The wine region of Szekszárd is located in Southern Transdanubia, a bit away form the main tourist areas of Hungary. The area and its wines were a bit underrated, however – thanks to local enthusiastic producers – it has become quite popular in the past few years. The biggest wineries, like Takler, Bodri, Heimann or Lajvér are on the wine list of the best restaurants, but it is worth to visit smaller ones as well – my personal favourites are Fritz and Fekete.
Although the region is known for fiery red wines, it not only has its own “Bull’s Blood” cuvée, but the best siller wine of the country is bottled here. Every time I am here, I buy several bottles of the only white wine produced here: “Decsi zöld szagos”. This light, but aromatic and full-flavored white goes best with strudel!
The area is a real off-the-beaten path type destination, where you can explore hidden treasures of Hungary, enjoying the best quality wines and culinary experiences.
Imola – Etyek
As the grape harvest season is just to come, it is almost compulsory to visit the closest wine region to Budapest. Etyek is ideal for those who only have few hours, as it is just a 30 minute driving distance from the capital. Light and fruity whites are produced in the area, as well as high-quality sparkling wines.
Its small gourmet restaurants in the presshouses are a great choice for a romantic dinner. Either a short wine tasting session or a gala dinner with great wines, Etyek is the right place to visit. Those who have more time can combine „wining and dining” with a visit to the interesting Korda Movie Park – and maybe they can even meet a famous Hollywood star.
Katinka – Villány
Villány is my favorite wine region, partly because I grew up nearby, and partly because I really like its rosé and red wines. The southernmost wine region of Hungary is characterized by a sub-Mediterranean climate, and it has the highest number of sunshine hours in the country.
The region is famous for its full-bodied and spicy reds. The Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc and Merlot are definitely must-tries here as well as the Kadarka, Portugieser, or Schiller wines.
Gabi – Tokaj
To be honest, I am not really fond of wines, usually I can’t differentiate between them. But if there is anything that I really love, that is the aszú of Tokaj. Ever since I visited this wonderful landscape, I have been able to get to know other extremely fine wines: szamorodni or furmint.
It is definitely worth taking a trip to this beautiful part of the country: it became part of the UNESCO World Heritage in 2002 for the viticulture, but the magical landscape with hidden fortresses and castles is also a real wonder. The center of the region is the town of Tokaj, and the wine region has become a symbol of Hungary.
The castle of Tokaj was known throughout Europe in the 16th century and it is quite certain that viticulture took place there even before the arrival of the Hungarian tribes. After the Tartar invasion, Béla IV, King of Hungary invited Italian winemakers who laid down the base of the now worldfamous wine region.
The excellence of Tokaj wine was shaped by the specific interaction of the soil and climate of the Hegyalja and the old saying that Tokaj wine is „the king of wines and the wine of kings” is just quite true.