"Villany, the wine city" Villany by shirez
Villany Travel Guide: 2 reviews and 17 photos
Hungarians have their own ways of doing things. Their language is one of the most difficult in Europe, and in their vineyards they have a host of grape varieties found hardly anywhere else; they also make a sweet wine, Tokaji, unlike any other. All the individuality and flair they can muster will be needed if Hungary is to fulfil its potential in the 1990s.
Hungary made wine in Roman times and - with interruptions caused by the Turkish occupation -has maintained a strong wine tradition ever since. The Tokaji wines were traded across Europe in the 17th century, and under the AustroHungarian empire they achieved widespread fame. The advent of Communism in the 1940s brought collectivization, land reform and sporadic modernization. Many of these changes are now being reversed, with land being returned to its pre -revolutionary owners.
In some ways the end of Communism left the Hungarian wine industry in a worse state than others in eastern Europe. In Hungary centralization was less rigid than in, for example, Bulgaria, and although roughly half the annual production of 44-61 million cases was exported, 80% was sent to the very countries whose markets collapsed just when Hungary needed them most: the USSR, East Germany and Poland. The instant result was a massive glut of wine - enough to supply the domestic market twice over - and less money coming in from exports.
This could have meant great distress, if Hungary had not been able to supply Western markets with clean, fresh, good-value Sauvignon Blanc and Chardonnay. These wines are made in Hungary with Western (often Australian) know-how to appeal to the hard-currer white-wine-thirsty markets world. If that is the future of tan wine, it is bright indeed.
Villany is about 3 hours drive by car to south from Budapest, very close to the beautiful city of Pecs with its famous campus:-)
Hungary is predominantly a white wine producer. Only 30% is this red, and comes mostly from the south of the country, especially around Villany and the Great Plain. Most reds are quite light in style, and even Bulls Blood is not quite as powerful as the name might suggest. The white wines, when made to the Iocal taste are spicy and often sweetish. There is a sprinkling of noble grape varieties, both white and red - among the latter, Pinot Noir and Merlot have potential - but it would be a great shame if Hungary were to concentrate on these to the detriment of her native grapes. Investigating the qualities of these may take longer, but of the reds Kadarka - hard work to grow, and susceptible to winter frosts, but promising in quality could be interesting. There is Kek-frankos, too, but this seldom makes exciting wine, and some Zweigelt, also found in Austria, where growers like it because it yields heavily.
The most widely planted white grape, indeed the most widely planted of all, is the Olaszrizling, alias Laski Rizling or Welschriesling. There is a lot of the rather neutral Leanyka, plus Furmint, Harslevelu, Tramini (or Traminer), Muscat Ottonel, Juhfark, Rhein Riesling (Rajnai Rizling), Muller Thurgau (Rizlingszilvani) and Pinot Gris (Szurkebarat).
All these grapes, and more, are produced by 22 state wineries and around 10,000 private growers. The latter existed under Communism and continue to farm on an extremely small scale, at least for the moment. Household plots of about half a hectare (one acre) were permitted in the past, and the owners of these, if they grew grapes, either sold them to a state winery or vinified them themselves in their own small cellars. As privatization of both land and wineries proceeds it is likely that wine growers will form private cooperatives to make and sell their wine.
Before actually tasting the wine, it is useful to think about the ways in which we perceive tastes.
The tongue distinguishes just four so-called primary tastes: sweet, sour (acid), bitter and salty.
In addition to the four primary tastes, there is an infinite variety of subtle flavours in wine. Generally, the greater variety there is the better.
White Wines tend towards the citrus and other tree-fruit flavours:
lemon, orange, grapefruit; peach, pear, apricot, apple; also melon, gooseberry, lychee.
Red Wines tend to be more reminiscent of red soft fruits: black and red cherry, plum, damson; blackcurrant, redcurrant, blackberry, raspberry, strawberry
Red And White
Red And White can both have all sorts of mineral, spice, herb and other common flavours such as bread, yeast, honey, caramel, various nuts.
Other sensations perceived on the palate (winespeak for "in the mouth") are tactile: body, astringency, temperature and carbon-dioxide bubbles.
Body describes the feel of a wine in the mouth, due principally to alcoholic weight, but also to depth of flavour and the consistency of the liquid. Low alcohol and limited flavour make for watery wines.
Astringency is the dry, gripping sensation on the gums, tongue and palate, due to the effect of tannin.
The right temperature can enhance a wine's performance, whereas being much too cold or too warm can easily mar its bouquet and flavour. It is important to be aware of the general guidelines for different types of wine.
Carbon-dioxide Spritz is an important consideration in the texture of sparkling wines, but is sometimes perceptible as a prickle on the tip of the tongue in still wines.
The general tactile impression of a wine is a significant quality factor. Useful comparisons. are often made with the feel of fabrics or other grainy materials: silky, satiny, velvety, for example
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