Though Hungary is not in the Mediterranean area which is supposed to have a suitable climate for growing vines, the fact is that because of their strong adaptation capability are planted in other countries with different weather conditions, being Hungary one of the main producers in Europe since the Roman Empire.
Hungary has seven large regions that include 22 smaller regions over the country. The large regions are:
- Balaton, with sub-regions
- Eger, with sub-regions which is mostly known about its full red wine called Egri Bikavér
- Észak-Dunántúl, with sub-regions
- Pannon, with sub-regions
- Sopron, with sub-regions
- Tokaj, which is the most famous wine region in Hungary
- Duna, with sub-regions, the biggest region of all, where Kiskunság takes place.
Orgoványi Gazdaszövetkezet (OGSZ) owns land and works in Kiskunság (Duna region), in the southern part of the country, between the most important rivers: the Danube and the Tisza. In this area it is absolutely necessary to grow robust types of grape, because weather can be really extreme, so the most common types of grapes are kövidinka, kékfrankos, cserszegi fűszeres, izsáki sárfehér and bianka. Wines in Duna are light and fresh
Egri Bikavér is a red wine made from Blaufränkisch (Kékfrankos in Hungary) and various proportions of other grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, Merlot and Menoire.
Tokaj-Hegyalja, in the northeast of Hungary, is the most famous wine-growing region due to its association with the Tokay wine, made from the botrytised Furmint, Hárslevelű, Muscat Blanc à Petits Grains, Kövérszőlő and/or Zéta grapes. The distinguing characteristic of this wine is that the ripened grapes are infested by the Botrytis fungus and when picking them at a certain point the wine produced is fine and sweet and pairs with desserts.
In the last few years, the measure of vineyards has drastically reduced because of the economic and agrarian crisis. The full size of Hungary’s vineyards used to be around 100 000 Has, but today it is only around 60 000 Has. Thanks for the support of the European Union, this tendency seems to stop and turn: the planting spirit is just coming back to viticulture.
Because of the effort of the EU, Hungarian farmers are able to modernise their technology, by using metal stake systems, mechanised cultivation and controlled fermentation. This leads to higher quality of wine, and lower costs of production.