From the mineral-rich earth on the slopes of an extinct volcano to humid, sun-drenched flatlands, Lake Balaton is surrounded by vineyards. While the region may not be as famous outside Hungary as Tokaj or Eger, it deserves to be: three local producers have scooped the title of “Winemaker of the Year” over the past decade. This weekend 30 cellars from the shores of the “Hungarian Sea” are setting out their stalls in the centre of the capital to show us why.
Hungary has 22 official wine regions, whose varying terroirs imbue their grapes with a distinctive local flavour. Six of them will be represented this weekend. Visitors can contrast the traditional whites of the Balaton Uplands (Balatonfelvidék) with the fiery wines of Badacsony, the aforementioned volcano, and the international red varieties that have been making inroads in the Balatonboglár region in recent years. Al fresco dining and live music are also guaranteed.
Festival of Balaton Wines (Balatoni Borok Fesztivalja)
4-6 May, opens 4pm this Friday and noon this Saturday and Sunday
Downtown Budapest, District V, Erzsébet tér (square)
Entry costs HUF 1,900
The official currency of the festival is the “tasting ticket”, which costs HUF 100 or HUF 500 and can be exchanged for a tipple at the winemakers’ stands.
More details at balatonborfeszt.hu