Ideal Wine Company Spotlight: Hungary

At first glance you wouldn’t think of Hungary as country with a rich wine making tradition. When we think of these countries, we first think of the wine making stalwarts such as France and Italy and we then think of the up and coming regions of the world such as Argentina, Australia and California. However Hungarian wine making is one of the oldest wine making traditions in the world. Little known fact, the word for wine in most European languages originates from the Latin. Hungarian is one of only three exceptions to this along with Turkish and Greek. It is a truly old and rich tradition, and even today the nation is particularly known for its Sweet Dessert White Wine, Tokaji. So what do we need to know about Hungarian wine making?

Although runic carvings suggest that Hungarian culture had known wine making in some form or another since ancient times, like with much of the rest of Europe, it was the Romans’ who brought it to the country proper. They brought vines over to the Pannonia region, and by the 5th Century AD, there are extensive records of Hungarian vineyards. Following the Magyar invasion in the 9th Century AD, the tradition flourished and the Tokaji Wine began to come to prominence, as vines were continually brought in from Italy and France, and many white wines rose to prominence.

The invasion of Ottoman Sultan Suleiman the Magnificent saw the introduction of the red Kadarka grape to the Eger region of the country, this red was later used to create the robust red blend known as ‘Bull’s Blood’, another popular Hungarian Wine the world over.

When the land was wrested away from the Ottomans, it fell into Habsburg Austrian hands, eventually becoming Austria-Hungary, a powerful player on the 19th and early 20th Century world stage and this saw the introduction of German techniques into Hungarian wine making. In 1882 a phlloxera epidemic hit the country, and it took a long time for its vines to recover.

Today Hungary is one of Europe’s largest, most well-known wine producers and the varieties of grape the country has to offer include Ezerjo, Harslevelu and Irsai Oliver and wine making regions include Eger and Pannon. As stated before, the country is particularly known for its Sweet Dessert Wine Tokaji. Grown in the foothills of the Zemplen Mountains in the North of the country, it has the perfect taste for those wanting a sweet wine to drink with a sweet dish.

At Ideal Wine Company we recognise the popularity of Tokaji Wine, and that’s why we’ve made it a part of our collection. The Royal Tokaji Essencia 2000 comes to you exclusively on offer for the price of £400. Hungary has a rich wine making tradition and this means that Tokaji wine is one of the most delicious, complex wines on the market. Make sure to get a vintage bottle from us!


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