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Hungary (GB)
Hungría (ES)
Hongrie (F)
Ungheria (I)
Hungria (PO)
Hongarije (N)

Hungary has a very old wine culture, because wines from Sopron and Eger were already known in the 13th century. The Greeks started wine growing in Hungary from the southeast Danube and its tributary the Tisza upwards and the Romans from the west across the Pannonian Plain to Lake Balaton. Despite invasions of the Huns, Vandals, Goths, Tartars and Ottomans over many centuries, wine was always grown in this area. Even the Ottomans, who occupied most of the country for around 160 years, oppressed despite alcohol ban the viticulture did not like to take the taxes for it, but the development was inhibited during this time. According to a rather legendary tradition, Kaiser Charlemagne (742–814) were so enthusiastic about the “Avar wine” that he had some vines brought to Germany.

By the Hungarian king Matthias Corvinus (1440-1490), who in his last five years in Wien (Austria) resided, the statement is handed down, "that the whole people should have wine and that the winegrowers should be respected". In the Middle Ages, as in almost all other countries, the Catholic Church played a major role in the spread of viticulture and wine culture in Hungary. The famous wine is crucially linked to Hungary's wine history Tokaj, After Phylloxera disaster and the two world wars shifted to the production of mass wines, Since the political upheavals of 1989 and the reestablishment of the winegrowing association, however, winegrowing has risen steeply again.

There is a central European, continental climate with hot summers and cold winters. The geographical latitude corresponds to the French Burgundy, which results in aromatic white wines. Around 2,000 hours of sunshine a year also favor the production of red wines. The Danube flowing from north to south divides the country into about two large halves. The wine law of 1997 defined 22 wine regions. To the west is Transdanubia , which borders from Austria. Slovenia and Croatia extends to the Danube in the west. In the center is the Balaton (Lake Balaton), the largest lake in Central Europe with 591 km². Together with the Neusiedlersee and Donau, a positive climatic influence is exerted on the viticulture. Transdanubia consists of four wine-growing regions with 15 wine-growing areas:

Lake Balaton

Észak Dunantul (Northern Transdanubia)

Pannon (Pannonia)

Sopron (Sopron)

In the southeast between the Danube and the Tisza lies the large Pannonian lowland with sandy, steppe-like soil, called Alföld in Hungarian. The vineyards exert a firming influence on the soil. In summer there are often crop endangering drought and in the winter frost, The Duna region has three wine regions:

Duna (Danube)

The northern massif is in the north in the foothills of the Mátra Mountains near the border with Slovakia, The two regions with their wine regions:

Eger (Erlau)


Hungary is predominantly a white wine country with almost 70% of the production, although the red wine variety Kékfrankos ( Blaufränkisch ) clearly dominates. The Tokaj variety Furmint ranks third after the Olasz Rizling (Welschriesling). In 2012, the vineyards covered 52,000 hectares, which means more than halving since 2000 (at that time it was 126,000 hectares). Of this, 1.818 million hectoliters of wine were produced (see also under Wine production volumes ). The Blend 2010 (Statistics Kym Anderson ):

vine variety Synonyms / Hungarian name colour hectare
Blaufränkisch Kékfrankos red 7998
Riesling Olasz Rizling White 4664
Furmint - White 4165
Cserszegi Füszeres - White 3609
Bianca Egri Csillagok 40 White 2922
Cabernet Sauvignon - red 2863
Chardonnay - White 2757
Müller-Thurgau Rizlingszilváni White 2098
Zweigelt - red 2050
Merlot - red 1907
Chasselas Chasselas Piros, Fehér Chasselas, Saszla White 1892
Zala Gyöngye - White 1755
Hárslevelü - White 1659
Pinot gris Szürkebarát White 1624
Green Valtellina Zold Veltelini White 1533
Cabernet Franc - red 1352
Riesling Rajnai Rizling White 1304
Muscat Ottonel Ottonel Muskotály White 1232
Blue Portuguese Kék Oportó, Kék Portugizi red 1216
Kunleány - White 1211
Arany Sárfehér Izsáki Sárfehér White 1133
Pinot Noir Kék Burgundi, Kisburgundi red 1091
Irsai Olivér - White 1090
Ezerjó Budai Fehér White 1074
Kövidinka Ruzsitza White 1020
Sauvignon Blanc - White 907
Királyleányka - White 855
Leányka - White 838
Gewurztraminer / Traminer Fuszeres Tramini, Piros Tramini / Tramini White 772
Aletta Egri Csillagok 18th White 723
Muscat Blanc / muscatel Muskotály White 709
zenith - White 559
kadarka Kek Kadarka red 532
Blauburger - red 435
Ezerfürtü Kecskemét 5 White 377
Lakhegyi Mézes - White 306
Zengö Badachon, Zengo White 264
Pinot Blanc Fehér Burgundi White 237
Jubilee 75th Jubilejne 75, Kecskemét 11, Miklostelep 11 White 194
Villard Blanc - White 192
Viktoria Gyöngye - White 190
Juhfark - White 186
Syrah - red 177
Turán Agria red 175
Medina Egri Csillagok 7, Medea red 151
Bíborkadarka Bíbor Kadarka red 136
Zéta Oremus White 118
Generosa Kecskemét 15 White 103
Pölöskei Muskotaly - White 103
Csaba Gyöngye - White 89
Mátrai Muskotály - White 67
Menoir formerly Kékmedoc or Médoc Noir red 65
Duna Gyöngye - red 63
Carat Kecskemét 6 White 50
Sémillon - White 50
Nero - red 50
Zefír zephyr White 49
Kéknyelü - White 43
Grasă de Cotnari Kövérszölö White 37
Carmine - rotß 36
Zeusz Zeus White 28
Gyöngyrizling - White 23
Csillám - White 20
Zierfandler Cirfandli White 20
Rubintos Cirfandli red 18
Pannon Frankos - red 16
Kunbarat - White 9
Budai Zold - White 6
Palatine - White 6
regent - red 3
Csókaszölö - red 2
Mézes Fehér - White 2
Nosztori Rizling - White 1
Taltos - White 1
Krisztaly - White ?
Magyar Frankos - red ?
Pannonia - red ?
Szirén Kecskemét 30 White ?

The information on the label are mostly short and sweet. The place name with the ending "i" (which corresponds to the German "he") is usually added to the grape variety, for example Soproni Kékfrankos (Blaufränkischer from Sopron).

Wine categories : In August 2009 the EU wine market regulations with fundamental changes in wine names and quality levels became valid for all member countries. There are the following new names and quality levels (see also in detail under quality system ):

  • Boron (formerly Asztali Bor or table wine ) = Wine
  • OFJ = Tájbor or country wine
  • OEM = Minöségi Bor / Különleges Minöségi Bor logo CNRS logo INIST quality wine / Prädikatswein
  • OEM DHC (Districtus Hungaricus Controllatus) with levels DHC-Classicus and DHC-Premium

OFJ (Oltalom alatt álló Földrajzi Jelzés Bor) :
There are 13 areas of land wine marked with a blue and yellow seal on the label.

OEM (Oltalom alatt álló Eredetmegjelölésü Bor) :
There are 33 quality wine areas, which are identified by an orange-red seal on the label. The first DHC area was Villány in 2006; then followed Eger, Tihany, Somló and Izsák.


Special wine names / types

  • Fehérbor = white wine, Vörösbor = red wine, Rozé = rosé
  • Pezsgő = sparkling wine, Francia Pezsgő = champagne
  • száraz = dry, félszáraz = semi-dry, édes = sweet, félédes = semi-sweet
  • Barrique Érlelésü Bor = wine aged in barriques
  • Bikavér = bull's blood (PDO only Eger and Szekszárd )
  • FN (Földrajzi Jelzés Nélküli Bor) wine without geographical indication
  • FNF (Földrajzi Jelzés Nélküli Fajtabor) grape variety wine without geographical indication
  • Muzeális Bor = wine with at least 5 years in bottle
  • Siller = lightly pressed red wine
  • Újbor or Fiatal Bor = new wine or young wine

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