Wine regions of Hungary

Written by Dalma — March 13, 2020

The history of wine dating back to the ancient times, when Romans brought vines to Pannonia. By the 5th century there were already existing vineyards on today’s territory of Hungary. Our ancestors brought their wine making knowledge from the East. Hungarian tribes were familiar with wine-making long time before the Hungarian Conquest of the Carpathian Basin. Over the following centuries, new grape varieties were brought in from Italy and France.

In Hungary we have all together 7 big wine producing regions, which can be divided into further 22 smaller regions. Each region consists of places with similar natural features and traditions or geographically integrated or neighboring places. Join us, and learn more about these regions and fantastic selection of wines.

Here are the seven wine regions of our country:








The whole list of the 22 wine region:



1. Észak Dunántúl – Northern Transdanubia wine region

Wine producing small regions in Northern Transdanubia:

Pannonhalma / Mór / Etyek-Buda / Neszmély

Include the wine regions around Buda and the Danube section above Budapest. It is traditionally a white wine producer region. International breeds such as Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Rhine and Italian Riesling, Tramini and Muscat Ottonel plays an important role, but alongside traditional breeds such as:

Leányka: We do not know its origin exactly, probably it is from Transylvania. It has a strong, large number of thick canes. Its cluster is small, dense. The grapes ripen in mid-September, after which they can be harvested. Its wine is rich in alcohol with a distinctive aroma.

Ezerjó: It is an old Hungarian variety, the main variety of the Mór wine region, although found today in several wine regions. The grapes are medium-large, dense, with elongated spheres, yellowish-green, thin-skinned, translucent and juicy, with a sweet taste. It ripens early and is one of the sweetest and most abundant Hungarian grape varieties, but it is sensitive to frost and rot. The wine has a strong, pronounced acidity.

2. Balaton Wine Region

Wine producing small regions in Balaton region:

 Badacsony / Balaton - felvidék / Balatonfüred - csopak / Dél- Balaton / Zala / Nagy - Somló

The southern and northern coastal wine regions, the Zala and Somló wine regions belong to Lake Balaton. It is also a region producing white wines mainly, and because of the lovely location and the closeness of the Lake Balaton it is one of the most frequently visited wine regions. Famous spot of wine tastings. The Italian Riesling is the most widespread variety of white wines typical of the region, reflecting local characteristics.

Italian Riesling: as many sources, as many designations of origin. Someones say it comes from French territory, some say it came to Hungary from the slopes of northern Italy. This strange duality is exacerbated by the fact that it came to our country through German mediation and was named to distinguish it from the Rhine Riesling. One thing is certain, the Italian Riesling is the most widespread white grape variety in Hungary, it is grown in large quantities everywhere except the Tokaj wine region. The wide spread of the Carpathian Basin is certainly due to the fact that the Italian Rizling is the least demanding of the grape varieties, due to its extraordinary fertility. It is excellent for creating even in the harshest conditions, it feels great even in sandy areas.It reaches a harvestable sugar level of 19% w / w in late October / early October. Its cluster is small or medium in size, dense and often also grows bunches. Its tiny, thin-skinned, yellow-green berries are very juicy. The taste of wines made from Italian Riesling was reminiscent of bitter almonds.

3. Pannon Wine Region

Wine producing small regions in Pannon region:

Tolna / Pécs / Szekszárd / Villány 

It encompasses four wine regions in the hilly region bordered by the Danube, the Drava, the Lake Balaton, Villány Mountains and the southern side of the Mecsek. Southern Transdanubia also produces red and white wines, but the emphasis is on red wines. In recent decades, international varieties have conquered: Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot. Often the latter are used to make Cuveé wines aged in new wooden barrels. Among the white varieties the dominant are the Italian Riesling, the Hárslevelű, the Rhine Riesling and the Chardonnay.

Cabernet Frank: is the most well-known blue grape variety in the world after the Cabernet Sauvignon. It comes from the Bordeaux wine region of France, but is now widely used throughout the world. It was already well known in the early seventeenth century and was a very popular breed. Medium ripening, which can be harvested at the beginning of October, but due to its high frost and rot tolerance, it can be postponed by one or two weeks, so it can be harvested with up to 20-21 sugar level. It has a medium productivity. The bunches and berries are small, but the bunches are dense, the peel is thick, the leaves are regular pentagonal, slightly elongated. It is a high quality wine with a deep red color, a very pronounced taste, rich in extracts, a pleasantly sour taste and a delicate aroma. In our country, the Villány Wine Region and the Szekszárd Wine Region are excellent production areas.

Hárslevelű: The vine has a dynamic growth, the canes are thick and light brown in color. Its leaf is lacy, similar to furmint, but slightly lighter. It has huge, sometimes 40 cm bunches. The berries are small, round, greenish-yellow, thin-skinned, juicy and sweet. Its acid content is relatively low. 

4. Alföld (Duna) – Great Plain (Danube) wine region

Wine producing small regions in Alföld region:

Csongrád / Hajós-Baja / Kunság

Three interconnected large wine regions form the Great Plain region between the Danube and the Tisza rivers: the Kunság, Csongrád and Hajós wine regions. Eventaugh these areas are mostly flat and sand-covered, today, this region is the largest wine producer in Hungary. You can find all Hungarian grape varieties in the region. The wines produced here are the so-called everyday wine. During the 16th and 17th centuries, red wine and Kadarka grape varieties arrived in this wine region from the Balkan. In 1779, Maria Theresa ordered the planting of vines to bind the Great Plain. The phylloxera plague did not cause much damage to the Great Plain, as it cannot survive on sandy soil (above 75-80% quartz).

Kadarka: According to many, it is the most widespread and outstanding Hungarian blue grape. A white Kadarka grape variety is also known. It comes from the Skutari region, it was brought in by Serbs fleeing from the Turks to our country from the Balkans, therefore it is popularly called Turkish grape. Today it is considered a real Hungaricum. The leaves are large, the bunches are large, short-stemmed, the berries are medium-sized, round, thin-skinned. There are many variants, such as him Kadarka, spring Kadarka or in Szekszárd, the foolish Kadarka, Eger the gooseberry Kadarka, etc., and its names vary depending on the region. Due to its versatility it is the most popular type of wine producers in the Great Plain. It is quite undemanding, nevertheless it is a good grape

Kékfrankos: In Hungary, kékfrankos is the most widespread of red wine grapes that provides quality wine. Its origin is unclear. The vine sometimes branched, moderately dense, with a short bunch with an average weight of 10 dkg. The berries are generally medium-sized, round and have a thick skin. The color of the fruit is dark blue, slightly crumbly and juicy with a sweet taste. It is characterized by a consistent average yield and sugar level. The bunches do not rot, so the fruit can be harvested for a long time. The wine of this variety is the most important ingredient of the Eger Bull's Blood with a pleasant aroma, rich in tannins, dark red color and slightly acidic.

Cserszegi fűszeres: Originated from Hungary, its few in number, its bunches are medium-sized, moderately dense. It is an early maturing grape and can be harvested by the end of September. This grape is a hybrid of varieties produced by Károly Bakonyi, Oliver Irsa and Red Tramini crossbreeding. The wine has a fragrant, spicy aroma and lively acidity.

5. Eger Wine Region

Wine producing small regions in Eger region:

Mátra / Bükk / Eger

The wine regions of Mátralaja, Eger and Bükkalja are classified in this region. The best known wines are the Eger Bull’s Blood, Egri Leányka, Debrői Hárslevelű and Olaszrizling. From the international varieties, Chardonnay, Muscat Ottonel, Tramini are the widespread breeds, and Pinot noir in the recent years.

In this wine region spring comes relatively late and the season is rather short. Its climate is cool, but it has an excellent microclimate for vine growing. The territory is made up from limestone, dolomite, rhyolite tuff, and rhyolite-dacite lava rocks, which are perfect for viticulture.

Bull’s Blood: The Eger Bull’s Blood is the most outstanding wine, a special couvet of the Eger wine region. The name originated from the middle of the 16th century, when Eger was under a Turkish attack. The defenders of the castle drunk a lot of red wine, when the red liquid was running down their beard, the Turks taught that their special power comes from a strange habit, that the Hungarians drank bull’s blood. We will never know if this perception helped the defenders, but in the end they have won the battle. Besides this story it is a really tasty, full bodied red wine, a mixture of different red grapes from the Eger wine region. 

Debrői Hárslevelű: A golden, yellow, aromatic, semi-sweet white wine with a characteristic aroma and taste reminiscent of linden flowers. Recommended for young poultry dishes, light desserts. Ideal for consumption at 14 ° C. The grape of this wine is the linden leaf. This type of grape is dominant even in the Tokaj wine region and in Villány. The grapes are of Hungarian origin. It is abundant, with a large bunch and medium berries with a medium rind. They ripen late, they rot slightly. It has a high sugar content and a medium acidity.


6. Sopron Wine Region

Wine producing small regions in Sopron region:


Only one wine region in Hungary belongs to this region, the city of Sopron and it’s wine region, vineyards. The Sopron Wine Region is located on the Alps, on the southern shore of Lake Neusiedl and in the Sopron Mountains.The culturally neighboring Austria's Burgenland wine region is in close relation and has similarities because of the similar geography. Sopron is the „capital”of Kékfrankos - blue frankos. Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Pinot Noir are also important plantations. Among the white wines we can mention the Green Veltelini, the Chardonnay, the Tramini, the Zenit, the Sauvignon Blanc and the Early Red Veltelini. The weather is cool summer, mild winter and frequent wind. It is the most rainy wine region in Hungary. It’s territory made up from limestone, crystalline slate, loess, loam, brown forest soil and Pleistocene sand. The climate of the wine region is also suitable for the production of late harvest wines.

Kékfrankos: In Hungary, kékfrankos is the most widespread of red wine grapes that provides quality wine. Its origin is unclear. The vine sometimes branched, moderately dense, with a short bunch with an average weight of 10 dkg. The berries are generally medium-sized, round and have a thick skin. The color of the fruit is dark blue, slightly crumbly and juicy with a sweet taste. It is characterized by a consistent average yield and sugar level. The bunches do not rot, so the fruit can be harvested for a long time. The wine of this variety is the most important ingredient of the Eger Bull's Blood with a pleasant aroma, rich in tannins, dark red color and slightly acidic.

Tramini: comes from South Tyrol, which belongs to Italy. It is a very popular breed in Hungary. It is very popular in Hungary and can be found in almost every wine region. Its cluster is small, irregular in shape, dense or medium-dense, berries small to medium-sized, slightly elongated, rounded, grayish to light reddish in color, fleshy, thick-skinned, juicy, crispy, spicy, sweet. It has a very pleasant taste, low acidity and very high sugar content in good vintage. Tramini wine is therefore spicy and fragrant.

7. Tokaj Wine Region

Wine producing small regions in Tokaj region:

Tokaj hegyalja

People interested in the wine culture are perfectly aware which is the famous Hungarian dessert wine the Tokaji Aszú. The fruits of Tokaj-Hegyalja contain the largest sweetness of the wine regions of the world, yet the largest quantities are the dry items. Tokaj wine region has enjoyed protection since 1737, when a royal decree declared it a closed wine region - the first such region in the world. Thanks to the unique geographical characteristics: the volcanic field, the climate, the slopes, the number of the sunny hours create an ideal ambient for the Botrytis cinerea mold, which does not cause grey mold rot, but noble rot. Tokaji Aszú is the only wine in the world that mentioned in its nation's national anthem. The Tokaj dry wines can be classified as: quality and special quality - the latter can be used when the must content of the wine used as the raw material reaches 19 degrees. 

Tokaji Aszú: is a specialty wine made with aszú and normal grapes. Tokaji Aszú is the most famous of Tokaj wines. The centuries-old tradition is based on the late harvesting of aszú grapes and subsequent wine making. Aszú matured in wooden barrels usually reaches its maturity at the age of 8 to 10 years, which is the time when wine can be bottled. The best quality Aszú comes from the villages of Tokaj, Tarcal, Tolcsva, Mad and Tállya.

Szamorodni: it comes from the Polish word for Szamorodni means: grown. It is a type of Tokaj wine made from grapes containing aszú grains. It is made in both dry and sweet versions. Dry Szamorodni: golden coloured dry wine. Due to its maturation, it has very special flavors and smells more like nuts, hazelnuts and roasted almonds. Sweet Szamorodni: A wine reminiscent of the aszú flavors. Its initial liveliness is followed by sweets, its delicacy and fine harmony make it a very attractive. In its scent almonds, vanilla and lily of the valley dominate.

Furmint: Furmint or Furmin is a typical Hungarian grape suitable for the production of white wines. The origin of the best Aszú wine grape is not precisely defined, it can be Southern Italy, Croatia, Serbia or even Hungary. There are several types of furmint, white, red, or variable. The most common is the white furmint.

Zéta: produced first by Ferenc Király with the crossing of Furmin and Bouvier grapes. Before it was known as OREMUS. Its canes and leaves resemble those of furmint, but it ripens and dries 5-6 weeks earlier. It is less resistant and requires more care.