Wine regions

Hungary has such a prolific wine-making history and system that the country is divided into 22 different wine regions, each of which has its special characteristics and the grape varieties it can produce.

The 22 separate regions are grouped into 7 bigger areas, for an easier distinction, these areas namely being the Balaton, Duna (Danube), Eger, Észak-Dunántúl (North-Transdanubia), Pannon, Sopron and Tokaj territories. In regards to the designation and regulation of the wine regions, it is the responsibility of the Ministry of Agriculture, and thus is determined by a ministerial decree. Each of the 22 regions has its special, own characteristics regarding what kind of grape varieties can be grown and cultivated there, how the soil is built up, and many more.

The Balaton area consists of six sub-regions, as follows: Badacsony, Balatonboglár, Balaton-felvidék, Balatonfüred-Csopak, Somló and Zala. Interestingly, most of the vines grown produce white wines, except for Balatonboglár, where reds are being made and grown as well. The most known types and varieties are Olaszrizling, Kéknyelű, Furmint and Hárslevelű.

The Danube area encompasses three sub-regions, Csongrád, Hajós-Baja and Kunság. The land gives soil for many different varieties, mainly light wines and table wines. According to estimates, the area is accounted for approximately half of the entire wine production of the country.

The Eger area is divided into three sub-regions, Bükk, Eger, and Mátra. The Eger region is home to one of the most famous wine variety coming from Hungary, Egri Bikavér, and also nice kinds of Pinot Noirs, while the rest of the varieties are mainly white.

The North-Transdanubia area consists of five sub-regions, Neszmély, Etyek-Buda, Mór, Pannonhalma and Sopron. Predominantly whites are being grown here – Mór is home to one of the most recognised grape and wine varieties of Hungarian origin, Ezerjó.

The Pannon area is split into four sub-regions, Pécs, Szekszárd, Tolna and Villány. Szekszárd is one of the most important regions, given that well-loved varieties like Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Merlot are cultivated there. Szekszárdi Bikavér is also a widely known and celebrated wine type.

The Sopron area has only one region, with the same name, which gives soil to sophisticated reds, mostly Kékfrankos (blue Frankish), which is another popular red wine in the country. Not surprisingly, Sopron is oftentimes called the capital of blue Frankish wine.

The Tokaj area, again, consisting of a single region, is perhaps the most famous one yet, and is responsible for producing the most historic, most popular and some of the most elegant wines Hungary has given home to. Mainly the Aszú, the Furmint, and the Hárslevelű – the Aszú is famous for its unique production method and its distinctive flavour. Moreover, the entire region of Tokaj has been declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site and a Historic Cultural Landscape, which adds to the already high prestige of the land.