Category Archives: Hungarian Red Wine

Vote for the new wine!

Several new wine had arrived to our UK warehouse from the following 8 regions: Balatonfüred – Csopak region, Balatonlelle region, Eger region, Etyek-Buda region, Mátra region, Somló region, Szekszárd region, Villány region.

Zala borregio

They will be available soon but revealed one by one. Help us to decide which wine should be available sooner.

Please choose a maximum of 4 regions you want to see wine from on the web shop. More votes get the wine on the web shop faster!

Report from the wine tasting

Hungarian Masterclass with the Hungarian Wine House

Hungarian Wine House hosted a wine tasting this year in July. It was held at the Hungarian Cultural Centre at Convent Garden London, which belongs to the Hungarian State (but no passport is need it to enter the building). Our aim was different this time, approaching the general public, consumer who are interested in Hungarian wines. A free tasting with guidance, 10 wines from 6 different regions and different varieties with no particular theme in mind, just being unique. Hungary is unique, so are the wines.

I call it Hungarian the 4 T’s, which translates Talaj= soil, természet = nature, climate, Történelem= history, including the indigenous grape varieties and Társadalom = society, people. As the room is not too big and the event was a sit down tasting we couldn’t accept more than 50 applicants but the final number at he closing time was 58. Around 35 people attended the event, it was a great pleasure to see people from different backgrounds, also people from the trade. Hungarian Wine House (, specialized in Hungarian wines, of course. Overall I can say it was a good event. I believe people enjoyed the evening with some very interesting wines. Some better than others, but overall a good line-up which showed the diversity and uniqueness of Hungary. It took lots of time and effort to organize the tasting and I would like to thank for everyone who helped. First of all to Kristian Kielmayer who talked on the event and teached us about these wines and winemaking. He gave me lots of advice before the event and during the organization process. I want to thank also for Gábor Csorba who traveled from Bristol and gave a big support on the day of the event including setting the room. Also a big thank for Gyula Uhrin for the general and sale help on the event. And least but not last for my 2 lovely hostesses who welcomed the guests and poured wine during the tasting. This event couldn’t finish in success without their help.  Next day after the event we started to talk about the next wine tasting which will be held this year before Christmas. More info coming soon.

See below a brief introduction to each producer, winery, variety and the tasting notes in italic.

Irsai Olivér 2009, Nyakas Pincészet, Etyek – Budai wine region

It is a cross between Pozsonyi and Csaba Gyöngye (Pearl of Csaba), made by Pál Kocsis in 1930. Kocsis sold the first wine made out of this variety to a wine merchant by the name of … yes, you guessed it, Oliver Irsai. It is an early ripening aromatic variety. Usually fairly high in acidity a touch of residual sugar can balance the wine nicely. The grapes come mainly from Budajenö which has a mixture of loess and high chalk contain. The average density is 3500 vines / ha, Geneva Double Curtain (GDC) training is popular with this variety. The word Nyakas (meaning neck) comes from the basin. Today the winery has over 120 ha of vine planted, fairly diverse, but focusing on white varieties, Ernö Maya chief wine maker’s philosophy is quality, but every development must be done with the conditions set at the beginning. The grapes are hand harvested, integrated pest management is practiced and the winery will consider in the near future organic viticulture as well.

Tasting note

Pale lemon green colour with quite a pronounced nose. Marks of cold fermentation, lovely bright tropical, pineapple, gooseberry floral combination with ripe fruit. Hint of residual sugar but crisp acidity, good balance, notes of pineapple and bright lemon fruit underlined with some perfume. Very good example of the variety. Drink now

Királyleányka 2009, Thummerer Pincészet, Eger wine region

Is this the little princess amongst the wines? You decide, the name of the grape certainly translates as little princess. The Thummerer winery has 90 ha of vine planted, one of the bigger independent family owned wineries in Hungary. Situated in the North Eastern Mountain range, in the Eger wine region. Famous for its Bulls Blood. The winery has a big range of different varieties besides having some of the greatest vineyard sites as well. The family makes wine since 1984, today they offer a whole range to the visitors, from horse riding to special food and wine matching events and much more. Everybody is involved in the family, Vili papa (uncle Vili) as they call him is in charge with wine making, his wife is making the sculptures which often appear on the label, daughter Eva is in charge with wine tourism, hospitality and her husband is the chef. The white wine was made in the protective style, vinified in stainless steel tank and bottled with a hint of CO2, just to give a bit more freshness. The wine makers’ favourite motto: “If the eye is the spirit’s mirror, then the wine is the mirror of the wine maker”.

Tasting note

Pale straw yellow colour, medium pronounced nose. Some floral notes with citrus and a hint of spice. Fresh on the palate, dry with a hint of grapefruit and lemon. Touch of minerality with a bright floral note on the finish. Drink now

Cserszegi Füszeres 2008, Feind Pincészet, Balatonfüred-Csopaki wine region

A cross of Irsai Olivér and Tramini, made by dr. Károly Bakonyi. It combines a lot of the qualities of the two parents, the spiciness of the Traminer variety and the fresh acidity of the Irsai Olivér. The family estate goes back to 1993, their vineyard are at the North Eastern tip of thee biggest Central European lake, the Balaton. Father (Feind Senior) in charge with viticulture and his son (Peter) who spent sometime in Australia is looking after the wine making side, they work together and look after 17 varieties. They reckon this wine is ideal with fish dishes and salads.

Tasting note

Medium straw yellow colour. A bit of a funky nose, floral spice, but a bit dusty medium intense. Dry with some earthy, spice and floral kick. Medium acidity opens up after time. Good balance, medium finish. Drink now

Chardonnay 2009, Köporos Pincészet, Eger wine region

As Zoltán Simkó the owner of the Köporos winery from Eger recalls his first connection with wine was when he was dating his later wife. Wooing became his disaster, as he says. The girl’s father owned a wine cellar, he suddenly found himself in the cellar cleaning big oak barrels. There was no turning back from that point onwards. His father-in-law taught him the first skills of wine making and the work in the vineyard. The name Köporos could be translated as stone dust, the winery got be named after the street. The family owns 7 ha of vineyards, trained on low and medium high cordon. The Chardonnay ferments in oak barrels, stays for a longer period on lees to give added texture and creaminess to the wine, after fermentation is also matures for several months in oak as well. This is the premium Chardonnay of the winery the one below of that you would find on the Hungarian Airlines (Malév) Business class flight as well.

Tasting note

Medium straw yellow colour with some notes of oak, vanilla and stone fruit, but if everything medium intense. Dry, bit simple from the beginning some weight on the mid palate, touch of creaminess, one dimensional, simple Chardonnay. It would be worth to try it again, perhaps. Drink now – 2012

Rosé 2008, Dúzsi Pincészet, Szekszárd wine region

Tamás Dúzsi once only known as the “king of rosés” in Hungary. Critics and consumers both were fully behind those wines. It is usually 100% Kékfrankos. But depending on the vintage it can vary. If you ask him what the secret is, he replies: there is no secret he says. But then again if you dig a bit deeper he will say: just the best grapes are used for rosé wine making, acidity is crucial, perhaps the terroir is equally important (Leányvár, there was never serious drought, not even in 2003) and the timing. From harvest, skin contact and fermentation, time is key to get the balance right. While people do enjoy his rosé wines, he does some crisp white wine and some very nice reds too. He is always looking for new opportunities and is never-resting, his next mission is to show consumer and critics some Pinot Noir.

Tasting note

Salmon colour a fresh nose of strawberry and raspberry. Dry and lovely crispness on the palate, great balance between acidity and fruit. Delicate rosé, reminds me of many Provence rosé, just with the touch of fuller fruit and a hint of the Kékfrankos spice. Drink now

Kadarka 2009, Pastor Pincészet, Szekszárd wine region

Tibor Juhász the owner of the winery never really thought he would settle down at one day and do something with great value attached to the land, growing vine and making wine. He travelled for sometime in Australia and South America and lived for a longer period in London as well. It was more or less his family heritage to step into the wine business, his step father owned some vineyards sold most of it to the neighbour. Yet one day their neighbour (fairly famous wine maker in the region), he doesn’t need the grapes anymore, so Tibor’s stepfather Feri started to make his own wine. The family business grew everything was done by hand and great care, from carving the cellar (loess soil) to harvest and wine making. Tibor whose family name could be translated as shepherd (juhász and pásztor meaning the same) started his business in 2008. He is investing in new land and is building his own cellar, he is settling down for good. Kadarka a fantastic grape variety, native to Hungary, brought in by the rác community when they fled from the ottomans (Turks). Thin skin, medium to low in tannin, but high in acidity, doesn’t like to be trained along a cordon and very vintage depending.

Tasting note

Medium ruby colour with some jam and spice with bright red fruit on the nose. Dry, good acidity, low tannin good balance and medium body with a jammy, spice character. A very nice Kadarka, a bit of strange grape variety. Ripe finish a combo of ripe fruit, marzipan underlined with some spice. Drink now – 2012

Kékfrankos 2007, Günzer Pincészet, Villány wine region

Kékfrankos is known under many synonyms, in Germany as Lemberger, in Austria Blaufränkisch and there is Limburger and Modra Frankinja too, all the same. But yet it is special in Hungary, not only the most planted red grape variety but also key ingredients when it comes to blend Bikavér (Bulls Blood). The Günzer winery is based in the most southern wine region of Hungary, in Villány. Some people even call it the Mediterranean wine region of Hungary. He started in 1991 and he bottled his first wine in 1998, Günzer’s philosophy is that the grapes must be in at their best, he trains the vines along a single guyot system and applies green harvest. He likes when the cluster are loose or as Günzer puts it they should not touch each other.

Tasting note

Medium ruby colour with a slightly herbal nose. If feel a bit lean on the nose, almost like the yield would be high or simply not enough concentration. It shows a different picture on the palate, good acidity with a medium body and ripe structure. Some cherry and raspberry note with a hint of development and smoke. Drink now

Vida Cuvée 2003, Vida Péter pincészet, Szekszárd wine region

“The soil, the plant and the sun gave humankind the possibility for life.” You can tell by this one sentence that he is very much attached to Mother Nature. Wine making started early in his career today he works on 10 ha, his flagship vineyard is the Bakta (1ha) possibly the best site in Szekszárd, fully South facing rising 200 m over the town, terra rossa soil (oxidized iron), clay. It used to be said, that you were never able to buy land here, just inherit. Today unfortunately a lot of the great sites are taken by buildings (housing estates, etc.). Péter Vida’s signature blend of Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Kékfrankos and Kadarka. He works with low yields around 1 kg / vine and uses mostly selected yeast culture according to the type of wine. The fermentation temperature is around 28-30 °C, fermentation happens in stainless steel tanks, he then moves the wines to bigger oak barrels (1000 l) before the wine spends sometime in medium toasted “barrique’s”. Destemming always happens.

Tasting note

Medium deep ruby colour with plenty of pencil shaving, lead character on the nose. Some blueberry and red bold fruit. Good acidity, soft and round yet with plenty of weight, fine oak notes, touch of spice and eucalyptus note with some beefiness. Toasty finish Drink now – 2012

3 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú 2002, Puklus Pincészet, Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region

The family estate goes back to 1947, when János Puklus founded the winery. The vineyards are located in the most southern tip of the Tokaj wine region in Bodrogkeresztúr, Tarcal and Bodrogkisfalud. The permitted varieties of Furmint, Hárslevelü, Muscat Lunel (Sárgamuskotály) and additionally to this Zéta (also known as Oremus), Kövérszölö,(later two still permitted), and Gohér (was known before phyloxera) on 15 ha, and a tiny amount of Cabernet Sauvignon and Franc, later two are not permitted. The aszú wines are vinified in oak barrels the traditional gönci barrel (136 l) and szerednyei barrels (180-220 l), many of the wines spend a time between 3-5 years in oak sometimes even longer. It is fair to say due to this philosophy the winery can be considered as “traditional” opposed to the “new” style of making aszú wines. Aszú wines are made with the help of noble rot (botrytis cinerea) have to be picked/selected by hand several times. The pure juice dripping out by its own weight is called esszencia, this is rarely bottled on its own. Due to its high sugar content (6-700 g/l and more), very low alcohol it takes very long to ferment and it’s usually very expensive. The aszú berries are opened up with a special machine (looks like the shrivelled berries are trodden), this becomes then the aszú pastry. To this either must or fermenting must or base wine is added and the maceration can begin 12-24 hours. After the maceration pressing and aging in barrel commences. After bottling the aszú wines of Puklus winery spend another 18 months in the cellar, resting before it goes onto the market. Three puttonyos (puttony=hod/basket of 25 kg) means that 3 x 25 kg of aszú berries are used to make the pastry and then a traditional size of gönci barrel 136 l base wine (from the same vintage or must) will be added to this and the fermentation continues after pressing. Today this is measured more analytically, hence a 3 puttonyos aszú will have 60 g/l residual sugar and 30 g/l sugar free extract.

Tasting note

Deep golden colour with a lot good tropical notes, plenty of botrytis, rich and pronounced. Some spice and a lot of marmalade, jam, dried fruit, fig, prune, full one for a 3 puttonyos. Sweet, racy acidity, good balance and fresh all the way long. If you ask for style somewhere between classic, old school and the newer (if this is an appropriate term) style. Good concentration and fine finish. Drink now – 2020

5 puttonyos Tokaji Aszú Pannon Tokaj, Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region

Pannon Tokaj Ltd. was founded in 2000, the winery entirely in Hungarian ownership started as a small hobby cellar. Today its 16 ha, based in Tolcsva equipped with the most modern technology. The area is famous for its loess and nyirok soils (sort of red clay). The annual average temperature is between 9-10°C, the hottest month is July average 21°C, while January is the coldest with average -3°C. The annual rainfall is between 500-700 mm, with highest in the summer, the wine region has several rivers two of the bigger ones are the Bodrog and Hernád, the combination of the natural factors (humidity, sun, etc.) lead to the development to the botrytis cinerea, the noble rot which is crucial for the aszú wines. The wine comes from the Kincsem vineyard one of the best sites of Tolcsva from 25 year old vines. The vineyard is facing South, South-West, the soil is mainly the mention nyirok (red clay). The aszú berries (Furmint and Hárslevelü) come from other vineyards as well, but the base wine is entirely from this site. The aszú pastry (or dough) is macerated in dry base wine (fermenting wine) for 18-24 hours. After gentle pressing the wine mature for 24 months in the so called gönci barrels and after bottling rests for a further 12 months in the cellar. A few interesting figures to the wine: Residual sugar: 130 g/l Total acidity: 10,6 g/l Alcohol: 10,96 % Sugar free extract: 51,3 g/l The aszú berries had a must concentration of 58-63 KMW, which would be in sugar terms 678-763 g/l.

Tasting note

Light golden colour, bright nose but not too pronounced. Fresh with a delicate mango, tropical and spice note. Fine sweetness, yet very fresh, great balance. A bit young the wine a bit tight on the palate, but shows promising density and deepness. Ripe tropical notes, good botrytis, rich, less floralness more deepness with a hint of minerality. Drink 2016-2040

Source: Tasting notes Kristian Kielmayer

Photos: Gyula Uhrin

Wine history and Hungarian Wine Regions


Hungarian wine has a history dating back to at least Roman times. The best-known wines are the white dessert wine Tokay (Tokaji) and Bull’s Blood (Egri Bikavér), a full-bodied red wine.

The Romans brought vines to Pannonia, and by the 5th century AD, there are records of extensive vineyards in Hungary. Following the Magyar invasion of 896, Árpád rewarded his followers with vineyards in Tokaj-Hegyalja. Over the following centuries, new grape varieties were brought in from Italy and France, probably including Furmint and the other grapes of Tokay. Mostly white wine was made like that of their neighbours to the west.

From 1882, the phylloxera epidemic hit Hungary hard, with the traditional field blends of Eger and the many grapes of Tokaj being replaced with monocultures, often of Blaufränkisch (Kékfrankos) and the Bordeaux varieties in red wine districts, and of Furmint, Muscat and Hárslevelű in Tokaj. The twentieth century saw the introduction of modern grapes such as Zweigelt, which were easier to grow and to vinify than Kadarka, and under Communism quality was neglected in favour of overcropping, pasteurisation, and industrial production. Since 1989, there has been renewed interest in the traditional varieties, and a lot of new investment, particularly in Tokaj.


Hungary is situated in the heart of Europe, in the lower central part of the Middle-Danube basin, surrounded by the eastern slopes of the Austrian Alps and the Carpathian mountains. It has frontiers with seven countries: Slovakia, Ukraine, Romania, Croatia in the south, Serbia, Slovenia and Austria in the west.

Territory: 93,036 m2, representing altogether 1% of the territory of Europe.
Population: 10.2 million, representing altogether 2% of the population of Europe.
Capital: Budapest
Language: Hungarian, which is very different from most of the languages spoken around the world.

Hungary has been a member of the European Union since 2004.

The country is diversified by plains, hills and mountains. Basalt-vulcanite mountains are just as typical of the countryside, as chalk-stone or dolomite mountains, or flatlands filled up by rivers, saline- and sandy-soiled areas, fens and marshlands in river-flats. The red sandstone and Pannon sand of the ’Balatonfelvidék’ area, or the basalt tufa of the Tihany peninsula offer valuable and remarkable soils for wine-growing. Hungary has two large, and probably well-known rivers, River Danube and River Tisza.

There are several large natural and artificial lakes within the country, the largest one of which is Lake Balaton, which is the largest lake in Central Europe with an area of 591 km2. The so-called ’Balatonfelvidék’ is a typical Hungarian wine region at the same time.

Hungary is situated in the temperate zone, its climate is basically continental, the potential extremities of which are subdued by the Carpathian ranges, and the level of rainfall is just optimal. The region at the foot of the Alps (’Alpokalja’) is a special and remarkable part of the country. Its climate is subalpine, and the level of rainfall is well-balanced. In summary, this small country has all the climate- and soil-related potentials to grow excellent wine-grapes.

The Hungarian climate is favourable for the growing of vine. The extremes of our continental climate are softened by the Carpatheans assuring milder winters, hot summers and long indian summers in autumn. The yearly precipitation in the range of 5-600 mm is also ideal for vine. The growth season, relatively long due to the climate lends extremely rich taste to our wines. The characteristics of each wine region are determined by local soil conditions and micro-climate. Officially the country has twenty-two wine regions, however, these are grouped into larger macro-regions, such as Alföld, Balaton, southern slopes of Bükk mountain, Southern Transdanubia, Northern Transdanubia, Mátra and Tokaj. In the northern wine regions mostly white wines, while in the south-western and Southern Transdanubia region mainly red wines are produced.

Favourable geological conditions make it possible for growers to produce excellent drinks from Hungarian grapes of ranging from champagne through red to exquisite white wines offering an exhilarating selection from home-bred and international varieties of wine. Home-bred varieties include Furmint, Hárslevelű, Kéknyelű, Juhfark, Irsai Olivér, Cserszegi Fűszeres, Királyleányka and Leányka. Widespread international varieties grown in Hungary are Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Pinot Gris, Tramini and mention should be made of Central European varieties such as Kékfrankos, Zweigelt, Kékoportó, Kadarka and Olaszrizling.

Wine regions and styles

Észak-Dunántúl (North-Transdanubia)

This wine region contains the following sub-regions:
Ászár-Neszmély: fresh and aromatic whites.
Etyek-Buda: fresh white wines, with considerable acidity.
Mór: volcanic soil, full-bodied whites. Main variety: Ezerjó.
Pannonhalma: full-bodied whites.
Sopron: elegant reds (mainly Kékfrankos).

Lake Balaton

Badacsony: volcanic soils, full-bodied whites with considerable acidity.
Balatonfelvidék: volcanic soils, full-bodied whites with considerable acidity.
Balatonfüred-Csopak: terra rossa soils, full-bodied whites with considerable acidity.
Dél-Balaton: full-bodied whites and reds with moderate acidity.
Nagy-Somló (or Somló): volcanic soil, full-bodied whites with high acidity. Main varieties are: Olaszrizling, Hárslevelű and Furmint.
Zala: mainly white wines.
The main variety of the region is Olaszrizling.

Dél-Dunántúl (South-Transdanubia)

Pécs: mainly whites. Traditional variety: Cirfandli
Villány: robust, full-bodied, spicy reds. Main varieties: Portugieser, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Merlot and occasionally Pinot Noir.
Szekszárd: full-bodied reds, with a bit of spice. Famous wine: Szekszárdi Bikavér. Main varieties: Kadarka, Kékfrankos, Cabernet franc, Merlot

Duna (Alföld)

Mainly fresh and light wines from lots of varieties.

Észak-Magyarország (Northern-Hungary)

Eger: fresh whites from Leányka and Királyleányka, full-bodied whites mainly from Olaszrizling or Chardonnay. Home of the Egri Bikavér (bulls blood of Eger), an elegant red blend, mainly based on Kékfrankos. Good Pinot noirs.
Mátra: elegant and full-bodied whites, grown on volcanic soil. Main varieties are Müller-Thurgau, Olaszrizling and Chardonnay.
Bükkalja: mainly white wines.


Hungary’s most famous wine region lies in the foothills of the Zemplén Mountains of the far north of the country – in fact the traditional area crosses into the southeast corner of modern Slovakia. The area is notable for its long warm autumns and mists that come in from the River Bodrog, creating perfect conditions for noble rot. This can contribute towards creating the botrytised (‘aszú’) grapes for which the region is famous. These are individually picked as late as mid-November into buckets (‘puttonyos’) and crushed to a paste. Varying amounts of this aszú paste are then added to non-aszú must or wine made from a mix of Furmint, Hárslevelű, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Kövérszőlő or Zéta grapes, and left to ferment. The resulting wine is then aged in relatively small barrels in a labyrinth of cellars in the soft volcanic tuff, on whose walls thick blankets of fungus regulate the humidity.[1]

Given that aszú conditions only happen in perhaps three vintages per decade, a lot of dry Furmint is also produced. Other grapes grown in the area include Hárslevelű, Muscat Blanc, Kövérszőlő and Zéta.

How to taste wine Part 2

The smell

Maybe it sounds strange, but first we taste with our nose. If we plug our nose in a complex wine, a kind of feeling may arise that a full lexicon of data, sensation, impression break into our neck.
The real fun starts here.
Breathe deeply the wine fragrance what emerging in the glass.
Always the first impression is the best, with time more and more aromatic notes could come out to surface of course.
At this stage can comes the grape variety, the wine’s style and intensity, and of course the errors.
If you feel the wine is wrong, (it can recalls vinegar) or it’s strongly uncomfortable from other point of view, feel free to send back!


We have now reached the peak (in the best case orgasm in the worst case disappointment).
Keep the wine in your mouth for a few seconds and try to solve it’s mystery.
Experts call this with a magical word “Terroir”!

If they mumble about a wine with such intention, that means good.Start to turn in your mouth to get more benefit from the taste experience.

Then summarize your views.

Try to find a companion to the wine, it can be a food, which stresses it’s virtues, or a tasting place which makes it more interesting, or a friend who we would happily show.
This method can only be good, if the final result will be even better from them.
Thus, second, third, we zoom to perfection.

Spit or swallow?

If you like the taste of wine, and the circumstances allow (chauffer, public transport, etc.) swallow. Because the wine is actually about this, not to mention that it’s healthy in moderate quantities. However, if you want to taste many different wines, or maybe you don’t like the taste of wine, you can spit out, as far as possible into a spittoon or container.

How to taste wine Part 1

First Steps …

What you would like to know about wine tasting!

Wine is a luxury product or we can call a panacea. Besides the fact that it is able to both energize and relax, launch discussions with the winemaker with your friends or your love.

So it is not the point, that where, when and with whom to sample.

Only one thing counts:

Taste more, of course, within the limits of health. The rule In case of Wine tasting is, (if you are not among judges at a competition) that there is no rule. Of course, there are some good advice, which is recommend to observe in order to achieve the maximal pleasure.

The Spectacle

To do this, can help a white surface, like a white sheet of paper. If we examine the wine before this clear background ones, some early conclusions can be drawn down of age, or style. In general, it could be say that, while the white wines darken over time, the Reds fade.

About the spinning of wine

An interesting habit that often can be observed in almost all wine events. Can be a simple way to deduct nervousness. At the same time useful, because the wine contact with air on bigger surface and as a result, more fragrance release. In addition, we can get new information of the alcoholic strength and character as the way how the wine flow back on the glass wall (sophisticatedly call this as church window or tear effect) The full-bodied wine goes back more slowly than it’s lighter fresher mates.


I am Bálint Takács, the owner of the Hungarian Wine House, and I am passionate about promoting the fine wines from the 22 Regions of my homeland in Hungary. I will be writing regularly about the different grapes, wines and vintages , and look forward to hearing your views about Hungarian wines.

About Ice Wine


Designates German wines produced from grapes frozen on the vine, and pressed while still frozen. Freezing concentrates not just the sugar in the grapes, but also acidity and extract. For best results, a frost of at least -8 °C/18 °F is required, for which grapes are generally harvested between five and eight in the morning in the first sufficiently cold November or December days.

Eiswein picked in January or even February is not uncommon, but is seldom of as high a quality. Such a wine is labeled for the calendar year of the growing season. The harvesting of Eiswein has become much more routine as a result of the widespread (if controversial) use of semi-permeable plastic sheeting spread over the vines to protect from birds and rain while waiting for a suitably deep frost. While the classic concept of Eiswein for most growers is a wine from botrytis-free grapes, this is not a legal requirement, and the use of film in fact often promotes humidity and thus a low level of botrytis in the shrouded grapes. If the harvest does not to achieve the requisite must weight or the character deemed appropriate to Eiswein by the individual vintner, the wine usually ends up being bottled as an Auslese or subsumed into another wine, even though this practice is technically legally questionable.

Ice wine

Made in British Columbia, Québec, and particularly Ontario, is Canada’s version of Eiswein and the crown jewel of its wine industry. The word Ice wine has been trademarked by VQA Canada which imposes the world’s most stringent standards on the production of ice wine. In Ontario, grapes for Ice wine must have reached temperatures as low as -8°C/18°F before being harvested (as for Germany’s Eiswein) but sugar levels must reach at least 35°Brix, considerably higher than the minimum requirements in Germany and Austria.

All Ice wine must be varietal and made from vinifera grapes or the French hybrid Vidal. Grapes must be grown and pressed within a recognized Viticultural Area. Residual sugar at bottling must be at least 125 g/l. No sweet reserve may be added.

Hungarian Ice Wine

Few winemakers produce ice wine in Hungary. Sümegi és Fia (Hajós-Baja wine region) winery produce ice wine every year since 1989. They make their ice wine from Rhein Riesling. They take extra care on every grapes and pick only the healthiest berries.
Another winery famous about it’s ice wine is Vylyan Vinery in Villany region (South West Hungary). Vylyan winery was awarded with the best Hungarian Vinery 2008. Also winemakers from Tokaj and Balaton region produce ice wine.


I am Bálint Takács, the owner of the Hungarian Wine House, and I am passionate about promoting the fine wines from the 22 Regions of my homeland in Hungary. I will be writing regularly about the different grapes, wines and vintages , and look forward to hearing your views about Hungarian wines.

Flavours charmed from the scenic wine-valleys of Hungary

The Hungarian Wine House (Magyar Borház) is a primarily online trading wine house founded by a young Hungarian, living in London for several years.

Having travelled in the countryside and living in the capital, I have realized that British people, including my acquaintances, friends and colleagues, are not familiar with Hungarian wines (except for Tokaji), and Hungarians living in the UK cannot, or only with difficulties, buy good quality Hungarian wine.

My name is Bálint Takács, and my aim is to make British people familiar with Hungarian wines, and have them to like Hungarian wines, as well as to meet the demands of Hungarian and non-Hungarian wine drinkers by providing high standard services.

I hope you will be interested in my thoughts about the wonderful wines we bring in from the 22 regions of my home country.


Bálint Takács


I am Bálint Takács, the owner of the Hungarian Wine House, and I am passionate about promoting the fine wines from the 22 Regions of my homeland in Hungary. I will be writing regularly about the different grapes, wines and vintages , and look forward to hearing your views about Hungarian wines.