Hungarian Wine House tasting

Hungarian Wine House has organized and hosted a wine tasting at the end of 2011 for press and trade. 5 wineries represented their wines from 5 wine regions. There were a total of 35 wines. The winemakers or owners personally showed their wines what was very helpful for the guests and they appreciated it.

The wine tasting took place at the Danubius Hotel Regents Park London. Danubius Hotel is a Hungarian hotel chain operates many hotels in Hungary, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Romania and United Kingdom.

Hungarian Wine House has signed Clementine Communications Ltd. to do all the PR and  media job before, during and after the tasting. Their responsibility was to invite as many guests as possible from the press and trade  also to give press release and information about Hungarian Wine House , wineries  and about their wines before the event, helping to prepare on the day and manage everything in the background during the tasting. They have done an excellent job. The all team worked close together with Hungarian Wine House during the organizing process and on the event.

55 guests have confirmed their attendance both journalists and wine buyers.

The 5 winery who represented themselves were

József Ludányi  –  Mátra region

Ludányi Winery is a family run business established in 1989. Their nearly 10 hectares of vineyard is situated in the northern Mátra wine region exactly at the foot of the Mátra Mountain in Gyöngyöstarján 90 kilometres from Budapest. This region is the home of fragrant, fruity and light white and rose wines. The soil composition is varied. The base rock of the soil is often andesite or rhyolite tuff.  It results the high sugar free extract and crispy acidity of the wines produced here. In order to high quality, the family does everything from cultivating the vineyard to bottling the wine. Preserving the fruitness and freshness from the grapes is one of the most important aims  for the winery.

40-60 000 bottles of wine are produced in a year depending on the vintage.         70 % of the total quantity are white wines and 30 % are rose and red wines. Their other export markets are Belgium, Portugal and Switzerland.

Pannon Tokaj  –  Tokaj region

Pannon Tokaj Ltd. is a fully Hungarian-owned modern winery in Tokaj, founded in 2000. The cellar owns 20 hectares of land of which currently 19 hectares are cultivated. The three main grape varieties of Tokaj: Muscat Lunel, Furmint, Hárslevelű (linden leaf) are grown in their vineyards which are located in some of the most reputable vineyards around Tolcsva village.

Their primary philosophy is to produce outstanding quality dessert wines mixing the traditional and the new wave of Tokaji winemaking. Therefore they produce certain high ‘puttonyos’ numbers of aszú in the best vintages only, carefully hand selecting the first class noble rot affected berries. They represent a floral, approachable aszú style but with depth and serious complexity. They also take special care for producing wines with a potential of long bottle ageing. Another key is the careful manual work throughout the whole grape-growing and winemaking process. They use a very effective but tender pest control, pruning works and strict control of the crop (1,5 kg / vine for the ordinary wine and 4-5 bunches, that is 1 kg per vine for their premium Dominium selection).  Their range from the dry white wine to the very sweet and delicious Tokaji Eszencia is wide. They make dry, semi dry and semi sweet white wines from Furmint, Muscat Lunel and from Hárslevelű (Linden Leaf). Their dessert wine range has 3, 5, 6 puttonyos aszú, late harvest cuvée which sugar level is equal with a 4 puttonyos aszú. The top of their range are Aszúeszencia and Eszencia.

The Dominium range receives 6 to 24 months small barrel ageing (220 l) in mainly light and medium toasted barrels. After bottling, a minimum of 6 months laid ageing follows in bottle. The capacity of their ageing cellar is 300.000 litres. The tradition of the Tokaji wine making obliges them to perfection in every detail, hence the bottles are corked with quality Portugese natural corks.

László Nyári the owner of Pannon Tokaj on the tasting.

The wines of the Pannon Tokaj Ltd. have been successful so far in Hungary, Sweden, Germany, United Kingdom, Romania, Russia, Serbia, Poland, Czech, Spain, Canada, Japan, Taiwan, Korea and China.

József Hagymási  –  Eger region

Hagymási family has established their winery in 1999 . With the help of governmental support – as a result of a successful application – the basis of oenology was established; the formation of a new, modern structure of estate. They tried to use their experience; merging vineyards together, planting new grape varieties, building the complete, modern system from grape processing to bottling. The size of their vineyards now reaches 27 hectares and consists of 3 bigger areas. The most important varieties they work with; Welsh Riesling, Yellow Muscat, Cserszegi Fűszeres, Rhein Riesling, Chardonnay, Kadarka, Menoir, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot.

As a result of the terroir, their wines are unique, full-bodied, having mineral character and keeping their fruitness for a long time. The wine cellar is situated in Eger, where from the grape processing to bottling, everything is done by the family and with the help from their colleagues. Their winery consists of a modern, air-conditioned built grape processing place and a traditional cellar system carved into tuff with the total capacity of 2400 hl. They supply some of the hypermarkets and supermarkets in Hungary as well as the wine shops and top restaurants. Their wines in the UK available from Hungarian Wine House.

Pfneiszl Vineyards  –  Sopron region

Since 1993, Franz Pfneisl has been managing vineyards once again in Hungary.

Birgit Pfneiszl on the tasting

This was when he had the opportunity to regain the former, family owned vineyards.  Today, this winemaking family owns 21 ha. Since 2002, when the first wines were produced, every vintage has won many awards. Since 2004, Franz Pfneisl has received help in the cellar from his daughter, Birgit. Since 2006, the winery has more or less completely been under female leadership. Birgit Pfneiszl takes care of the winemaking and produces wines with a feminine touch. Alongside Birgit is her younger sister, Katrin, who is responsible for marketing and the distribution of the wines. 2006 also saw the beginning of a new phase in which the wines began to be produced organically which is particularly important for this family run business.

The wines from the 2009 and 2010 vintage were granted organic status.

Birgit and Katrin have bought a new concept of winemaking and marketing to the Hungarian wine industry. Their passion, knowledge, attitude and vision of life have helped to create new ideas and products which are not only new to Hungary but probably the whole wine world too! This concept is the ‘Sparkelina’ with a straw – which is a 0.2 litre mini bottle of sparkling wine with a straw inside, making the perfect party drink. Their other creation ‘Wide World’ (Távoli Világ) is a red wine made from 5 grape varieties none of which are Hungarian: Shiraz, Carmenére, Malbec, Zinfandel and Sangiovese.

Their export markets are USA, The Netherlands, Sweden, Switzerland, Denmark, Belgium, France, Slovakia, Czech Republic, Poland, Germany and UK.

Róbert Mayer – Villány region

The winery of Mayer Róbert is located within the 100-year-old line of cellars. The grapes are grown on the slopes of Palkonya which significantly contributes to the unique flavors of Mayer wines. Róbert Mayer cultivates the grapes in three hectares and has grown Portugieser, Zweigelt, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon and Pinot Noir – the family has been producing wine for many generations. Today the winery has reached very high standards and thanks to the increasing quantity, they able to distribute to a much wider market winning many gold and silver medals.  Palkonya is one of the most beautiful places of the Villány region. The small village with its 370 inhabitants, traditional wine cellars, Mediterranean climate and the friendly ambience from the local people makes it a “must-see” place. The Villány region is the ‘cream’ of red wines.The most southern wine region of Hungary – meaning that some people even call it the Mediterranean wine region of Hungary. According to tradition, Hungarian wine-making was born here in The Villány Region. The elegant wine from Villány is known to be the wine of cavaliers and ladies and the excellence is illustrated by the fact that it was exported outside of Europe in the XIXth century, to America and Brazil. 

The list of wines were on the tasting:

József Ludányi: Cserszegi Fűszeres 2010, Pinot Gris 2010, Excellent White cuvée 2010 (Müller Thurgau, Welsh Riesling, Muscat Ottonel), Sárga Muskotály 2010, Excellent Rosé 2010, Excellent Red 2008 cuvée (Kékfrankos, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc)

Pannon Tokaj: Furmint (dry) 2006, Furmint (semi dry) 2008, Muscat Lunel (semi dry) 2009, Muscat Lunel (semi sweet) 2010, Tokaji Aszú 3 puttonyos 2003, Dominium cuvée late harvest 2006, Tokaji Aszú 5 puttonyos 2005, Dominium Aszú 6 puttonyos 2004, Tokaji Aszúeszencia 2005,

Hagymási Pincészet: Olaszrizling 2009, Egri Csillag 2010 (Olaszrizling,  Leányka, Szürkebarát, Cserszegi Fűszeres), Merylin 2006, Kadarka 2009, Pinot Noir 2008, Egri Bikavér (Bull’s Blood) 2007 (Kékfrankos, Kadarka, Cabernet Franc, Pinot Noir), Föld és Lélek 2007 (Cabernet Franc, Shiraz, Kadarka), Bormester 2003 (Cabernet Franc, Kékfrankos, Pinot Noir, Menoir), Édeskettes 2002 (late harvest sweet Egri Hárslevelű)

Pfneiszl Vineyards: Merlot 2010 Organic, Kékfrankos 2010 Organic, Tango 2009 Organic (Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Shiraz), Wide World – Távoli világ 2009 (Shiraz, Carmenére, Malbec, Zinfandel, Sangiovese), Kékfrankos – kettő007, Impression Rouge “Smoke on the lake” 2008 

Mayer Róbert: Olaszrizling 2010, Siller 2009, Portugieser 2009, Szt. Bertalan 2009, Cabernet Franc 2008

We also created a prize draw for guests who have visited the tasting. The main prize was a 2 nights stay at one of the Danubius Hotels in Budapest courtesy of Danubius Hotel. Other prizes were guide books about Budapest and Hungary courtesy of the Hungarian Tourist Office and of course Hungarian wines.

I would like to thank the support for the following organizations and companies:

Danubius Hotel Groups for the 2 nights stay in Budapest prize.

Hungarian Tourist Office for the Budapest and Hungary guide books.

AMC (Agricultural Marketing Centrum) for the Food and Wine matching guide books and the Hungarian wine region maps.

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and MALÉV for delivering the wines from Budapest to London.