My food and wine tours are really popular, it makes me very happy as I’m very proud of our gastronomy and of the wines my country has to offer.

The new tour takes you to Tokaj, probably the most known Hungarian wine region, that’s where Tokaji Aszu, the most famous Hungarian sweet white wine comes from.

The tour includes the visit of several little villages and local winemakers, it also introduces you the Jewish heritage and traditions of the Tokaj wine region. Let me know if you’re interested, I’d be happy to send you more details.

Probably the most beautiful wine country in Hungary, Villány offers great quality red and rosé wines and exceptionnal wineries with an amazing view over the surrounding hills. The number one domestic stronghold of wine tourism is the Villányi Borút -Villány Wine Trail- which was the very first Wine Trail brought to life in Hungary. Book the “Pécs and Villány Tour by Car” if you want to see and to learn more!

The area altogether is about 1800 hectares, the climate is of sub-mediterranean character with a hot summer, mild winter and a lot of sunshine. The southernmost mountain of Hungary protects the grapes from cool north winds.

Excavations prove that the Romans cultivated grapes in the area some 2000 years ago. As far as we know our ancestors started winemaking as early as in the 1060’s. Villany wine region had its first golden age during the early 1800′ after the arrival of German settlers. They introduced advanced agricultural know-how, technics and a new grape, known today as Kekoporto, which became number one in the region’s wine making.

During the second half of the 20th century the Villány vineyards were nationalized, the legacy of the quantity production will probably continue to be felt for decades in plantations with low densities and widely paced rows, originally designed to accommodate oversize tractors. It’s easy to see the differences between a collectively cultivated tract and a privately owned plot even today.

The Villány vine varieties and wines are Kékoportó, Kékfrankos and Cabernet Sauvignon, Hárslevelű. Italian Riesling and Leányka.

Villány winemakers are among the most successful participants in Hungarian and international wine contests and exhibitions. Wine producers and cellars of Villány have been awarded the titles “Wine Producer of the Year” and “Wine Cellar of the Year” several times.

 

We’re just back from another great countryside tour. We visited Eger, a small town today with exciting history. The Eger Castle witnessed the extreme courage and patriotism of its defenders who withstood the Ottomans’ 5-week-long siege in 1542.

We started by discovering Eger’s Basilica and the University, which is home to the Camera Obscura, Eger’s Eye, probably the most interesting thing in town. There are only 3 camera obscuras around the world, it’s so much fun to spy on what’s going on around the city.

We took a pleasant walk in the old town and tasted some Lángos, which was delicious. We visited the castle, the scene of the fight in 1552, I was telling stories from ‘The eclipse of the crescent moon’, a Hungarian novel about the great victory of the Hungarian defenders of the Eger Castle.

After visiting the local wine museum in the afternoon we drove to the Valley of the Beautiful Women and tasted the best red and white wines of the Eger wine country.

The wine region is very often named Budapest’s vineyard because of its closeness to the capital city. It was officially formed in 1997 although local wine production originates from the Middle Ages. Due to calcareous clay soils the region is famous for the production of high acid sparkling wines.

Because of the region’s ecological environment the most important characteristic of the wines are their imparting, vibrant acidity. The best-known white types are Chardonnay, Sauvignon and Pinot Gris. Red wines are still an exception in the region but you can taste some interesting Pinot Noir and Cabernet, too.

Local winemakers are absolutely charming and would be happy to offer you not only their best selection of wines but a light lunch, too, join my “Etyek Wine Tour” to see and taste more!

 

 

Hungarian people named the lake Balaton the Hungarian sea almost a hundred years ago. That’s where most of us spend at least a few days in the summer, go camping for a school excursion or ice skating in the winter. That’s also where many of our friends from East Germany spent their summer vacations during the communist era, but that’s an entire different story.

The lake is about 80 km long, it’s the  biggest freshwater lake in Central Europe. The water is of a very beautiful green, and is smooth and silky, no wonder that the neighborhood is the number one tourist destination of locals. It’s a holiday resort, the paradise of sailers, windsurfers and kiters, the venue of a few great summer music festivals and a perfect quiet place for chilling out.

The Lake Balaton Tour takes you to the pretty Northern shore of the lake, a mountainous region with extinct volcanoes, highlands and several wine regions. The tour also includes rarities of the Hungarian architecture, I show you around the medieval castle of Nagyvázsony, the castle-town of Veszprém and the elegant Festetics palace of Keszthely. We visit charming little towns, like Tihany, which is said to be the richest Hungarian town and Balatonfüred, where we can take a little walk at the marina.  let’s not forget about food and drink, I’ll introduce you to local farmers of the Kál basin and winemakers of the Badacsony wine region.

 

The Eger region’s wine culture has a history of over a thousand years, and essentially it has always determined the life of the local people. The most recognized red wine of the region is the Bull’s Blood (“Bikavér”) but white wine is also produced due to the favorable environment.

The climate is characterized by relatively late spring and is rather dry. The soil is varied, the most typical is brown forest soil covering volcanic rhyolite tuff.

By the beginning of the Communist era, as a result of nationalization quality production got replaced by quantity production and led to producing unpretentious wines. Because of the terribly poor quality of the wines both domestic and international reputation declined considerably. By the end of the 1970’s the Eger wines became in fact high acid, often bitter and astringent, even dilute. The renaissance of the region’s wines and wine production started in the mid-1990’s and it’s time to be very proud of them, again.

One of the best-known Hungarian wine brands is the Bull’s Blood of Eger. It ‘s medium-bodied and is characterized by a deep ruby color with relatively high acidity. Its smoothness is due to the extended ageing (12 months) in oak barrels. Bull’s Blood is a cuvée, and officially it has to contain at least three different grapes.

As for the local whites, one can taste a great variety of Riesling, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Traminer, and Zenit wines.

Book an “Eger and wine tour by car” with me if you’re interested in taking a walk around the vineyards, talking to local farmers and winemakers and learning about all the secrets of the magical Bull’s Blood!