The wine regions of Hungary
In recent decades, the vine-growing areas of Hungary have been sliced up into 22 wine regions due to the regulation of wine production in this country, though the classification into larger regions has been in existence for a hundred years now. Today, another opportunity for restructuring the wine regions has presented itself, though the system is still pliable and will probably only attain its final form in many years time. For this reason, on the map borportal.hu has used a system which divides the country into seven regions.
Due to the 19th century regulation, the whole of Transdanubia was registered as one district from the point of view of wine production, divided into eleven wine areas largely following the county boundaries. Lake Balaton was an exception to this, the vine growing territory around the lake forming a unified wine region irrespective of county boundaries. For the point of view of wine production, tourism and marketing, Transdanubia has been classified under four regions. These four regions are North Transdanubia, with chalky soil and producing predominantly white wines, South Transdanubia, covered with loess for the most part and known as a red wine region, Balaton, and Sopron, which has many features in common with Burgenland.
The wine territories located in the area of Hungary to the east of the Danube have been grouped into three large wine regions: the Great Plain, Eger and Tokaj. The Great Plain Region, situated between the Danube and Tisza rivers, consists of three interconnected wine territories with similar features, previously known for its light, sandy wines. The Mátraalja, Eger and Bükkalja wine territories have been classified here under the one name of Eger. In spite of the differences in renown, the three interconnected areas do possess numerous similarities. All three lie on the southern slopes of the Mátra and Bükk ranges, rising above the plains, their soils being rhyolite tuff of volcanic origin, and limestone. The combination of varieties is similar, both red and white varieties being produced, though the best known wine of the region is Eger Bikavér (Bull's Blood). In the 19th century, Mátraalja and Eger officially formed one wine region, though the Miskolc wine region, which enjoyed great fame at that time, was classified separately. Tokaj, with its distinctive variety structure and its naturally sweet wines, represents such a unique style, that it would not be considered practical to combine it with other wine regions. On the other hand, a fitting name for the designation of the wine regions of Northeast Hungary could be found, as the whole of the hill country to the north of the Great Plain was already called Upper Hungary many centuries ago.