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Experiences with a wine glass in hand or not: the best wine festivals in Hungary

The Buda Castle Wine Festival BudapestGeater Budapest

Great drinks, good company and amazing things to do: you can find all of this between the stalls of Hungary’s wine festivals. These range from learning about wine to concerts, and there is always something going on in the towns known for the best Hungarian wines during the outdoor festival season. Find out about the best Hungarian wine festivals.

There are 101 ways to enjoy wine: choosing the best for dinner, tasting the specialties from a particular cellar or learning about the masterpieces of a wine region on a wine tour or wine festival are all great experiences. Hungary abounds in wine festivals, with each wine region having its own. No matter which festival season you come in, you are sure to have great fun.

Elegance in the environs of Buda Castle

The Buda Castle Wine Festival is held every September and is one of the largest and most spectacular wine tasting events in the country. The Buda Castle Palace, which is visible from all over the city, has hosted the prestigious festival for more than three decades. It is popular with both wineries and visitors. Hungarian producers from all of the country’s wine regions come with a wide range of wines and sparkling wines, and the gourmet courtyard offers premium dishes to pair with the drinks. The VIP area takes the experience to another level.

Harvest time in Tokaj

Tokaj, the country's best-known wine region, has its harvest festival in October. The Tokaj Mountain Harvest Days have been welcoming wine lovers for more than 90 years with the motto "white wines – colourful culture". In the town of Aszú grapes, you can see the traditional harvest parade, the grape collection ceremony, where the mayors of the wine region ceremoniously collect the harvest, and the introduction of tradition-preserving groups. Outdoor concerts and street theatre provide a lovely atmosphere, while great food is guaranteed on the gastro promenade and, of course from the local wine producers too. Apart from the wooden stalls set up on the town’s main square, visitors can also meet the producers in the wine cellars.

Summer evenings, lakeside drinks

But let's go back to summer. In July and August, during the high season around Lake Balaton, numerous wine festivals and wine events take place on the lakeshore. Gastro promenades, wine stands, folk art performances, flea markets and concerts welcome festivalgoers in Gyenesdiás, Balatongyörök and Zamárdi in July, and in Balatonfüred, Balatonalmádi and Hévíz in August. The region's favourite festival is the Badacsony Wine Week in July, where you can taste great Badacsony wines in romantic open-air taverns and learn about the tricks of making wine from the Kéknyelvű, Welschriesling and Pinot Gris grapes that are grown on the basalt hill. Visit Balatonboglár in mid-July if you are a jazz lover as well as a wine lover. 

Wine and culture

At the beginning of August, the Debrecen Wine and Jazz Days welcome visitors for a joint celebration of jazz and wine in the atmospheric, green surroundings of Nagyerdei Park. At the end of August, Szentendre turns into a atmospheric festival town, also in the spirit of enjoying wine and jazz together. And you shouldn't miss the Bor, Mámor, Bénye (Wine, Delight, Bénye) festival held in August every year in the gardens of Erdőbénye. In the lovely little village, you can taste cool furmints, but you can also have long talks with winemakers, and the experience is rounded off with delicious snacks and excellent cultural activities. Lie down on the grass or in a hammock with a glass of good wine and enjoy the feeling of time slowing down.