Hungary Wine Guide


Compared to the Western Europa countries, Hungary is a small wine producer but is the home of the famous Tokay, the pearl of the Hungarian nation.

History of Wine in Hungary

In Central Europa, Hungarian viticulture is ancient, going back to the Roman period. But the old vineyards were deeply hurt by the phylloxera during the nineteenth century. In the twentieth century estates replanted their vineyards with international grape varieties.

With the fall of the communist regime, Hungary received foreign investments which allowed the use of modern technologies to make high quality wines. Nowadays the new generation of winemakers are turning towards old native grapes to make typical Hungarian wines. 

Wine regions in Hungary

Tokaj is the country's most important wine-growing region. At the foot of the Carpathian Mountains, it is located near the Slovak border in the north-east of Hungary. Tokaj's fame come from its production of Tokay wine, a white sweet one so famous that it is referred in the national anthem.

The south-facing vineyards spread around the city of Tokaj, at the meeting point of the volcanic mountains and the Bodrog and Tisz Rivers. The autumnal fogs bring the botrytis or noble rot, the core of the Tokay wine.

The most important grape is Furmint, which is touched by botrytis and ripe late. The producers use Hárslevelú and Sárga Muskotály, the Hungarian name for the aromatic Muscat Blanc.

The land of Tokaji 

The best wines are the Tokaji Aszú which used rotten aszú berries. First, they are macerated with a wine of healthy grapes during or after the fermentation. Afterwards the wine is matured during at least three years.

The sweetest wine is called Aszú Eszcencia, reserved only for the greatest vintages. The classic Tokay has a beautiful deep amber colour. This acid wine concentrate the intense flavors of honey, apricot and orange marmalade. The sweeter the wine, the more it is concentrated and intense. The best Tokays have complex notes of smoke, bread, toffee and coffee.

The great producers of Tokay are Royal Tokaji, Oremus, Chateau Dereszla, Disznókö and István Szepsy.