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Flashcards in Hungary Deck (22):

What is the climate of Hungary?

Moderate Continental


Europe's largest lake is in Hungary.  What is the lake?

Lake Balaton


What are the soils around Lake Balaton?

Iron-rich volcanic debris.


What are the 3 regions of Hungary?

  1. Transdanubia
  2. Great Plain
  3. North Hungary


In which region is Tokaj?

North Hungary


Tokaj is situated between which 2 rivers?

Tisza and Bodrog Rivers


What is the main grape used in Tokaji?


Furmint is textural and redolent of freshly cut apples with high acidity; as it ages it becomes nutty and develops honey notes.


What is the secondary grape used in Tokaji?


Hárslevelű is a spicy, aromatic grape with elevated acidity.


What is the third grape used in Tokaji?

Sárga Muscotály, aka Muscat de Lunel.

Sárga Muscotály is perfumed and floral.


What is the bottle size for sweet wines in Hungary?

50cl, or 500ml


What are some other white grapes grown in Hungary?

  • Olasz Rizling (Welschriesling)
  • Cserszegi Füszeres
  • Kiralyleányka
  • Chardonnay
  • Pinot Gris


What does Aszú mean?

Aszú indicates the grapes were affected by Botrytis.


How is Tokaji Aszú made?

Botrytis-affected (aszú) berries macerate with non-botyrtis affected must (a standard base wine) either before, during, or after fermentation for half a day up to 60 hours.  The aszú infuses the must or wine with botrytis characteristics.

The must or wine is pressed and afterward it is matured in oak.

How many aszú berries were used will determine the final sweetness of the wine.


What is a puttony?

It is the measurement used for aszú grapes that are added to dry wine to make Tokaji Aszú.

A puttony is a woven or wooden basket, usually with shoulder straps, that holds 20-25kg.  

The number of puttony added to a gönc (a Hungarian oak cask of approximately 136 L) determines the final sweetness of the Tokaji Aszú wine.



What is a gönc?

A gönc is a traditional Hungarian oak barrel that holds approximately 136 liters.  Gönci (plural) are used in the production of Tokaji Aszú.

Historically, aszú-filled puttony were dumped into gönci (barrels) and depending on the number of puttony used, the level of sweetness would be reflected in a level between 3-6.  These levels indicating the sweetness have been eliminated as of the 2013 vintage, and Tokaji Aszú is now simply labeled Aszú.


What is Eszencia?​

Eszencia is a lusciously-sweet, unique dessert wine that has been made for centuries.  It is exceedingly rare and extremely expensive.

Made only in the best vintages, Eszencia is made with the free-run juice (nectar, really) that seeps out from botrytis-affected grapes (aszú) after they've been hand harvested, berry by berry, and placed in a vessel.

The free-run nectar is fermented on its own and it takes years, sometimes up to a decade, to achieve just 4% abv.  The resulting wine, called Eszencia, must have at least 450g/L of residual sugar.


What's the difference between a Late Harvest wine and Tokaji Aszú?

Tokaji Aszú uses a maceration process of aszú grapes with base wine.

Late Harvest wines are made with grapes that were harvested late and which may or may not be affected by botrytis.  If any grapes are aszú, they go right into the fermentation vessel along with the late harvest grapes.

Late Harvest wines are usually aged a shorter time than Tokaji Aszú.


What is Tokaji Szamorodni?

Szamorodni translates to "as it comes," so Tokaji Szamorodni means "Tokaji as it comes."

This means that there was no selection between ripe, non-Botrytis grapes and aszú grapes - all grapes were harvested together, pressed together, and vinified together.  Even a smidge of Botrytis will display the notes of noble rot in even a dry wine.

Because there was no selection the wine may come out dry (száras) or semi-sweet (édes), depending on how much Botrytis was present at time of harvest.


Sometimes a Hungarian winemaker will not fill up their Szamorodni gönci (barrels) all the way.  What happens to the wine if it isn't topped up?

The wine may develop flor-like yeast which will lead to characteristics in the wine similar to a Fino Sherry.


Name some producers of Tokaji.

  • Demeter Zoltán
  • Disznókő
  • Oremus
  • Royal Tokaji Wine Co.
  • Királyudvar
  • Château Pajzos


What are the red grapes of Hungary?

  • Kékfrankos (Blaufränkisch)
  • Kékoportó (Portugieser)
  • Zweigelt


What is Bull's Blood?

Bull's Blood in Hungarian is Egri Bikavér, a style of red wine from the region Eger.  Eger is between Budapest and Tokaji.

Historically Egri Bikavér was made predominantly with Kadarka, but this grape has grown out of fashion.

Egri Bikavér now is made primarily with Kékfrankos and other red grapes.