Last week in anticipation of our walking holiday in Hungary, I shared some of what I have read and learned about Hungary and its wines, especially the famous wines from Tokaj.
This week I am delighted to be able to share from my actual experience!
The names of the wine-growing regions and wines are hard to pronounce, but that did not stop us ordering and trying them! We tasted some good wines, learned much about the wine and culture of Hungary and enjoyed the beautiful landscape and splendour of the Danube river.
Our route took us through the wine regions of Aszar-Neszmely, Etyek-Buda and Mór.
The Ászár-Neszmély area is on the Western slopes of the Gerecse and Vertes mountains and covers 1500 to 1800 hectares. The main production is white wine from varieties such as Ezerjó, Leanyka and Zold Veltelini, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, Sauvignon Blanc and Olaszrizling (Italian Riesling). In general, the wines are lively and fresh with a crisp acidity. Being close to Budapest and with the beautiful Danube river running through it, this area is also popular under tourists.
Etyek-Buda has more recently qualified as a wine region and covers 1600 hectares. In the 19th century the Buda area was the centre of winemaking and today the southern parts of the area and village of Etyek are important for winegrowing. The climate is cooler and white varieties such as Chardonnay, Olaszrizling (Italian Riesling), Zenit, Szürkebarát (Pinot Gris), Sauvignon Blanc and Zalagyongye are grown here. Wines are fresh and elegant. The area is especially regarded for its sparkling wines with Törley the best known sparkling wine brand. May is a great time of year to visit this area as it is time for the annual Etyek Cellar Festival!
The best part of the Mór region is at the bottom of Csokahegy and around the town of Mór. Wines produced here are generally quite complex with good structure. The main variety produced here is Ezerjó – today usually served as a young and fresh wine, but also susceptible to botrytis and used for a noble late harvest. In the 19th century the late harvest, sweet wine version of Ezerjó became world-renowned.
Some of the wines we enjoyed:
Tűzkő Traminer – I enjoyed the floral rose petal nose of this wine. The largest part of this historic estate is to be found between the low hills of the Völgység and the wines grown here are famous for their pleasant bouquet, as we experienced. The chalky, loess soil with good water retaining qualities is ideal for vine cultivation. White varieties include Chardonnay, Green Veltelini, Traminer, Rhine Riesling, and Sauvignon Blanc as well as Pinot Grigio and red wine Kékfrankos, Merlot, Cabernet Franc and Pinot Noir.
Here are some thoughts on other wines we tried:
Check out this great Wine from Tokajensis. I’m giving it 4.5 of 5 stars with the Vivino app http://www.vivino.com/s/55661c00d97b7
Check out this Wine from Bolyki. I’m giving it 3.5 of 5 stars with the Vivino app http://www.vivino.com/s/5564b66f17a48
Check out this Wine from Kardos. I’m giving it 2.5 of 5 stars with the Vivino app http://www.vivino.com/s/5564b5807a1fc