For centuries, Hungary has been the star of Eastern Europe with the most advanced wine culture in all respects from its range of distinctive native grapes to its understanding of terroir and its wine laws and customs.
Among its greatest treasures are the legendary sweet wines of Tokaji. The first wine to be knowingly made from 'nobly rotten' grapes - predating even Bordeaux's Sauternes. In fact, Tokaji has been a legend among sweet wines for more than 400 years and was much prized by royalty from the Tsars of Russia to the Kings of France.
These days, Hungary is best known for its superbly well-made table wines. Alongside excellent local varieties such as the strong, refreshing Furmint, Pinot Grigio and Sauvignon Blanc are finding a growing legion of followers in the UK. Hungary's red varieties are fewer and farther between but look out for Pinot Noir - the finest examples offer excellent value for money.
Furmint, Pinot Grigio, Pinot Noir and Sauvignon Blanc
Acorex Wine Holding, Vinaria Bostavan, Chateau Vartely
Balaton, Tokaji, Észak-Dunántúl
- The extremely rare and expensive Eszencia is the sweetest and most highly prized of all Tokaji wines with up to 600 grammes of natural sugar per litre.
- Beethoven wrote his Moonlight Sonata at Lake Balaton - source of some of our most popular Hungarian reds.