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Upper Hungary Wine Region


Eger
Eger region

The Upper Hungary Wine Region is unique in that the vineyards are usually located at 200-300 metres, on a high plateau or on the sloping side of the mountains, while the grapevines grow at a height of 500 metres on the side of Nagy-Eged Hill. Consequently, the climate of the wine region is influenced by the North Hungarian Mountain Range, which protects it from the breaking winds. It is characterised by mountainous soils such as volcanic rhyolitic tuff, andesite, loess, ...

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Heading northeast from Budapest, south of the Mátra Mountains, lies the Mátra wine district. Wine production dates as far back as the Middle Ages, on the slopes of the mountain, in the vineyards protected from the north. It’s worth spending some time in the vineyards on the southern slopes of the Mátra for the unbeatable panorama alone, as Hungary’s highest mountain range is also its highest wine district. But don’t miss out on wine tasting either, as the nutrient-rich soil and plenty of sunshine result in enjoyable, fresh, fruity and soft wines.

 

Particularly good wines are made from the following white varieties: Olaszrizling, Leányka, Ottonel Muscat, Szürkebarát, Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. Moving east from the Mátra ranges, we arrive at the Eger wine district, an hour and a half’s drive from the capital. It is impossible to get bored in the area, as in addition to the excellent wines and culinary offerings, the town's cultural tradition, built heritage and natural beauty add up to give a delightful experience.

The region features cellars that are up to 400 years old, the most interesting of which is the diocesan cellar system. A guided tour is available at the Eger cellar labyrinth, which is almost a town below the town. Legend in Eger has it that during the Turkish expansion, the courage of the castle defenders was strengthened by the local red wine. The iconic wine of the district is the Egri Bikavér (meaning bull's blood), which is made from a blend of at least three grape varieties, the most dominant of which is the Kékfrankos, in addition to the local and international blue grape varieties. Like Bikavér, Egri Csillag is a blend based on domestic grape varieties, an easy-to-drink, fruity white wine.

 


Today, the best cellars in the area are located in Eger and the surrounding settlements, but those who only have a single day to explore the local wines should visit the constantly renewed Szépasszony Valley (Valley of Beautiful Women), which is a real wine hub, with many premium producers emerging. Nature seekers should make a pilgrimage to the Nagy-Eged Hill, north-east of Eger, where one of the highest vineyards in Europe is located.

 

The vines of the Bükk wine district grow between Eger and Miskolc, on the side of the hill in Bükkalja. Bükkalja is located on the southern slope of the mountains – also nicknamed the mountain skirt. It is located on a hill and a plateau in a balanced, wind-protected area that maintains a more temperate microclimate for the vineyards. Bükk wines are characterised by light freshness, lively acidity, richness of flavour and aroma, which is thanks to the so-called ‘erubase soil’. Its red wines are briskly acidic, light, and mature in wooden barrels in a few months.

 

In the characteristic whites, the aroma and taste of fruitiness, apples, plums and citrus are apparent. It is characteristic of Bükkalja that the cellars were carved into the local rhyolitic tuff and the wines were stored here. A special feature of the cellars is that they were often adorned with folk motifs by master stonemasons. Grapes that yield white wine dominate here, including Olaszrizling, Leányka, Chardonnay and Cserszegi Fűszeres. Red wine is made from the Kékfrankos and Turán varieties.

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