An Introduction to Hungarian Wines
Hungarian Vineyards and Grapes
An Introduction to Hungarian Wine
The Romans brought the first grapevines to Hungary and by the fifth century there were extensive vineyards. In 2010, Hungary accounted for nearly 1.5 percent of the world’s wine production and the quality is rapidly improving since the Communists left.
Hungary produces many different wines both red and white, but it is famous for only one, Tokaj. King Louis XIV of France called Tokaj "the wine of kings and the king of wines". Along with French Sauterne and German Trochenbeerenauslese, it is one of the three greatest sweet white wines in the world. Tokaj wine will be the subject of a future Hub.
Having provided sufficient reason for you to be interested in Hungarian wine, here are ten things that you should know about the wines of Hungary:
- According to wine production statistics for 2010, Hungary was the 16th largest producer of wine in the world with more than 334 million liters. They ranked ahead of Brazil, Austria, Ukraine and New Zealand.
- During the same period, Hungary consumed only 231 million liters of wine leaving it with 103 million liters available for export.
- The per capita consumption of wine in Hungary in 2010 was 23.3 liters which was slightly less than the 24.9 liters consumed in Australia and slightly more than the 21.8 liters consumed in the UK
- During the Communist occupation of Hungary, most of the wines were produced in cooperatives and the quality suffered.
- In recent years, small wineries have flourished, vineyards have been replanted and new grape varieties have been introduced.
- Unfortunately, Hungarian wines are not always readily available here in the United States, but there are many places where you can order them on the Internet. Recently, Costco has begun importing a selection of Hungarian Tokaj wine and they usually are reasonably priced.
- Hungarian wine can be labeled with the regional name and brand name, (such as Tokaj or Egri Bikaver) or with the place of origin followed by the grape variety (such as Villanyi Pinot Noir).
- There are many unique grape varieties grown in Hungary and to complicate things further, French and German grape varieties have Hungarian names. Two of the leading red wine grapes are the Kekfrankos and the Kadarka, which are used to make the famous Egri Bikaver wines. Tokaj is made with Furmint and Harslevelu along with other white wine grapes. The final section of this hub explains the grape varieties in greater detail.
- The Alfold (the great Hungarian plain, also known as the Puszta) produces more than 42 percent of all Hungarian wine but it is of mediocre quality and is usually drunk as inexpensive table wine.
- There are 22 wine regions in Hungary, which are located in five geographical areas. They are shown on the following map and they are described further in the table that follows it.
What are Hungary's two most famous wines?
- Vintage Guide | Hungarian Wines
This is not an official vintage guide in the sense that I made no efforts to cover the grape and wine quality during the vintage. There are no interviews, visits and weather statistics behind the tags. Maybe some day I … Continue reading →
Some Hungarian Wine Labels
- Hungarian Wine Bottle Label
Hungarian Wine Bottle Label - Wine Graphics, Clip Art and Themes - Bottle Photographs, from Lisa Shea
MAP OF HUNGARIAN WINE REGIONS
SELECTED LOCATIONS IN HUNGARY
The map above shows the wine growing regions of Hungary. The numbers on the map correspond to the numbers in the table below which provides their names and additional details about the acreage in each region and the principal wine grape varieties which are grown there.
Varieties shaded red produce red wines and those which are shaded yellow produce white wines.
The corresponding road map of Hungary is for reference.
HUNGARIAN WINE REGIONS WITH THE PRINCIPAL WINE GRAPE VARIETIES GROWN IN THEM
HUNGARIAN GRAPE VARIETIES
Not only does Hungary grow a number of grapes that are unique to them, but other grapes that are also grown elsewhere, are given Hungarian names.
For example, the Blaufrankish grape of Austria is called Kekfrankos in Hungary and the Pinot Grigio grape of Italy is the Szurkebarat grape in Hungary.
The following table should help you to understand and recognize Hungarian grape varieties a little better.
HUNGARIAN GRAPE VARIETIES
Tokaj Wine Region
Hungarian Wine Festivals
More Wine Hubs by rjsadowski
- Top Ten Things You Should Know About Wine
If you are interested in learning about wine, here is a list of the top ten things that you should know. Topics covered are wine production, consumption, what to look for and other interesting facts. The most important thing to remember is that there
- Wine and Food - How to Hold a Wine Tasting?
One of the best ways to learn about wine is to hold a wine tasting with your friends. This Hub explains the best way to do this. Better yet, form a wine tasting club and meet regularly to learn and have fun. You can also explore different cheeses and
- French Wine Regions - The Rhone Valley
The wines of the Rhone valley stretch from Vienne which is close to Lyon all the way down to Avignon which is fairly close to Marseille.There are two distinct regions that make entirely different wines from different grape varieties. The north produc
- An Introduction to California Wines
California is one of the largest producers of wine in the world. If it was a country it would be fourth behind only France, Italy and Spain. Although in recent years, the prices for their top quality wines have skyrocketed, there are still many relat
- French Wine Regions - Beaujolais
The French wine region of Beaujolais has three major appelations (AOCs) - Beaujolais, Beaujolais Village and Crus du Beaujolais (containing ten individual Crus). This article describes all of them along with the grapes and the method which is used to
- French Wine Regions - Bordeaux
The greatest wines in the world come from the French Wine region of Bordeaux. Names like Chateau Margaux, Chateau Latour and Chateau Lafitte Rothschild are legendary and command the highest wine prices. The main regions in Bordeaux are the Medoc, Gra
- French Wine Regions - Burgundy
The various regions of Burgundy are described as well as the grapes that are grown there. In addition, many of the greatest wines of Burgundy are listed along with my comments on those that I have tasted. Also included are fond recollections of a wee
- French Wine Regions - Alsace
Alsace often changed hands between Germany and France for over a hundred years until the treaty of Versilles was signed in 1921. It is no wonder that the Alsacian wines still resemble the white wines of Germany with the grape variety displayed promin
- An Introduction to French Wines
France is the largest producer of wines in the world. French wine regions like Bordeaux, Burgundy, Champagne and Beaujolais have become household words. French grape varieties such as cabernet sauvignon, pinot noir, chardonnay, syrah and merlot are p
- French Food - Coq au Vin (Chicken in Wine)
Coq au Van is a classic dish from the Burgundy region of France. It is traditionally made with a rooster (coq) and a bottle of Burgundy wine (au Vin). I make it with chicken legs and thighs and an inexpensive California pinot noir. This dish also inc
More by this Author
Novice wine drinkers are confused about which wine to drink with what food. This article explains in simple terms the time-honored pairings, but ultimately it is OK to drink any wine you like with any food. One useful...
California is one of the largest producers of wine in the world. If it was a country it would be fourth behind only France, Italy and Spain. Although in recent years, the prices for their top quality wines have...
Any list of the "World's Greatest" is subjective and this one is no exception. I have limited my choices to ten violinists who have made at least one recording and to those who have passed the test of time....