Journey into wines… and wineries

As part of the preparation for my wine tasting which takes place in London on 18th November I have recently visited few wineries in Hungary. I do this anyway when I am in Hungary but this time I focused more on the wineries who will represent themselves and not on wines. My journey included Tokaj region (twice within 1 week) 50% work 50% party, Eger region and  Sopron region with a bit of Austria.

A glass of Tokaji wine over the join of River Tisza and River Bodrog.

2 days after my airplane landed at Budapest Liszt Ferenc airport we were on our way to Tokaj. Me and my friends. They have their holiday home in Tokaj. So we went for the weekend to take part in the Tokaj harvesting festival which takes place on the first week of October every year. 3 days when you can enjoy wines (strictly only from Tokaj region), hungarian food (some of them are very old styled but delicious) music and of course spend your money among that many merchant, selling their hand crafted products under the temporarily set stalls on the high street.

The festival

The event starts officially with the “harvesting march” when groups of adults and children from different places (schools, dance groups)  marching from the end of town to the main square of the Town along on the hight street. This takes place on the second day, Saturday afternoon.

Marching on the festival

After we watched the march we headed into the high street to look around on the market and of course taste wine. We bought our tasting glass with 3 tasting tickets which came with the glass for free. We also got a booklet with lots of free wine tasting tickets and discounts on food. The range of qualities were wide. There were exceptionally good and medium quality wines. 1-2 wines I have tasted were below average. Not surprisingly the high quality or fine wines were mostly from the famous or big wineries where wine-producing happens with high professionalism, skills and knowledge.

Hétszőlő winery one of the top wineries in Tokaj

I found the medium qualities among the smaller local producers where they sell these wines in 2 litres plastic bottles.  We hadn’t had chance to find out if they have better quality wines as the free tickets applied only for those medium quality wines and we were short of time to taste everything. I rather enjoyed the food and atmosphere than these medium quality wines. Certainly the fine wines were correct so no complain about them.

Small or local wineries I don’t recommend to visit at all:

  • Borostyán pince (was closed for a private group during the public event)
  • Böne borozó (failed to serve us while the girl served her friend who arrived after us) not a 5 star service!

Small or local wineries are good to visit:

  • Benkő borház
  • Borkatakomba
  • Péter pince
  • Simon pince
  • Vaskó pince

Small or local wineries are “must visit”:

  • Borudvar vendégház
  • Hímesudvar
  • Műhely borbár
  • Rákóczi Pince borozó

It was a nice weekend with many pleasant experiences.  Thanks for my friends who has provided transport, food and bed for me.  See you on the next festival

Waiting for my train to travel back to Budapest