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The Hercegkút wine cellar system

The Hercegkút wine cellar systemHercegkút Tokaj and Nyíregyháza

Good company? Check. An appetite for some serious hiking? Check. Then all you need is some fine wine and the coolest venue. If you want to see more of Hungary than Budapest and are willing to venture a bit further into the countryside, Zemplén is your place!

South-south-east of the Zemplén Hills lies the 87kilometre long, 5,500hectare famous Tokaj Hegyalja wine region. Established in 1737, this was the world’s first closed wine region, and has been a UNESCO World Heritage Site since 2002. The wine region is made up of 27 settlements, including the picturesque village of Hercegkút, with the Kőporos and Gombos Hill rows of two-tier wine cellars: 195 in total. 

A cellar for every home

Just about every family in this 270-year old village has a wine cellar. The Swabian families who arrived in 1750 settled in the area currently known as the Gombos Hill row of cellars. At the time, the land was owned by Count Trautson. Arriving after an exhausting journey, this closeknit group of benevolent people dug cellars in the ground and erected wooden huts over them. The wooden huts would later be replaced by stone houses, and the cultivation of the land would begin. The villagers quickly learned the trade of viniculture and winemaking, and soon became highly soughtafter experts. The grapes grown on the slopes of the nearby Kőporos and Gombos hills were processed in the cellars carved in the rhyolite tuff bedrock at the edges of the village, then fermented in high-quality barrels made in Göncz and Szerednye. The Gombos Hill cellars were built in four rows, one above the other, and have unique, triangular entrances. Inside these façades, the cellars run for as far as 40 metres and fork off into two or three branches, creating a multilevel cellar system that is still used by the famous local wineries for storing and maturing wine to this day. 

Rent a guest house, taste the unique Swabian bacon, have a splash in the wooden tub in the yard – and explore the hiking trails in the area to your heart’s content! If you stay for several days, you can see more of Hercegkút than the wine cellars: the attractions include the Baroque-style Roman Catholic church erected in 1788 and the calvary on the slopes of the Gombos Hill, built by the local community and containing a statue of the Blessing Christ. The Swabian Folk House leads you through the history and folk art of Hercegkút. Planning to come in the summer? You may want to schedule your visit in August, when the annual Cellar Festival takes place.  

WONDERS OF HUNGARY: HERCEGKÚT AND ITS CELLARSWe have launched a mini-series in 2020 entitled Wonders of Hungary, occasionally presenting our country's beautiful treasures in about a minute to inspire you. Welcome to the next episode, in which we show you Hercegkút and its cellars.
Wonders of Hungary: Hercegkút and its cellars
WOW Hungary - Tokaj and Nyíregyháza
Tájak, borok, legendák Henry Kettnerrel
WOW Hungary - Tokaj-Hegyalja with COUPLE AWAY (Justyna & Paweł)