KMT Travel Diaries: Kathy visits Hungarian Wine Region
KMT Partners ‘Chair and Consultant’ Kathy, along with husband Toni are on a wonderful European summer holiday. Kathy and Toni plan on spending a great deal of time in Kathy’s native Hungary. Kathy has checked in with an update on their recent foray into one of Hungary’s top wine regions, Villany.
Toni and I have long planned to visit the Villany wine growing region, but somehow never got there. This time we finally made it and have enjoyed the environment immensely.
On our way to Villany, we travelled via Mohacs which is known for a major battles against the Turks in 1526 and 1687, between which, Hungary was dominated by the Ottoman Empire. It is packed full of history!
Villany is the area of Hungary best known for its red Wines and Hungary has several unique Varieties – “Hungaricums”. A memorable one that we discovered was Csoka, which is a light red, similar to Pinot in style, but the variety of grapes used in its production is almost extinct. The Vylyan vineyard has .3 of a hectare of the grapes, and that is it. This winery was my favourite, even though Toni did the tasting (well I had a few sips) and I did the driving as there is a zero percent alcohol limit when driving here!
The most popular variety in the region is Cabernet Franc. I have always found this wine to have a little bitter after taste, but our excellent guide at the Gere vineyard explained this was due to poor wine making practices of earlier years. He advised that the variety had variable ripening even within a bunch and care had to be taken to remove any green or unripe grapes. Indeed when I tried theirs it was soft, smooth and not bitter.
The wine route of the Villany area travels from the town of Villany to Siklos. Due to the geothermal activity this area has special properties, along with some thermal springs and apparently the vines benefit from the heat retention in the limestone soils. Air-conditioning and heating is often developed from geothermal sources.