Travel Guide to Badacsony Wine Region
Badacsony is the most iconic wine region in Hungary and is famed in Europe and internationally for its characterful, mineral-packed, and full-bodied white wines. This is a volcanic wine-making region that makes unique wines that are perfect for long aging. Although the wines are typically dry and white, in recent times winemakers in the region have begun to make sweet wines from late harvest grapes.
Find out about Wine Tasting & Tours in Badacsony to enjoy if you visit the region.
Acclaimed Full-bodied White Wines of Hungary
Badacsony is considered by many to be the most famous wine region in Hungary, particularly because of its characterful and full-bodied white wines. The commonly produced wines in Badacsony are dry white wines although wine makers have begun to produce sweet white wines using late harvest grapes.
The region of Badacsony is located in the Tapolca Basin on the northern shores of Lake Balaton. Its most iconic symbol is the truncated volcanic buttle of Badacsony Hill that dominates that horizon across the entire region. Across the region are a number of other buttes and cones that were formerly volcanoes.
The history of wine making in Badacsony dates back to the middle ages when the vineyards were all owned by the church, royal estate and the royal family. Viticulture in Badacsony decline during the periods of war but began to recover in the 18th century. During this time, modern wine making methods were introduced into the region and vineyards were newly planted.
Badacsony has a continental climate with sub-Mediterranean characteristics. The macroclimate of the region can be described as mild and relatively humid. The dominant terroir of the region is Basal along with brown forest soils.
Red: Kerkfrancos, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Pinot Noir
White: Budai Zöld, Cserszegi Fűszere, Furmint, Harslevelű, Irsai Olivér, Kéknyelű, Muscat Ottonel, Nektár, Olaszrizling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Riesling, Sárga Muskotály
The World-renowned Wines of Badacsony
In producing the excellent wines of the Badacsony region, winemakers make use mainly of classic wine making methods using oak barrels. These methods are blended with the use of steel tanks to age wine.
The most notable grape varietal of Badacsony is Keknyelu which is a green-skinned Hungarian varietal that is both rare and unusual. This is a very high-quality grape that is used to make medium-bodied wines that have floral and stone fruit aromas. The wines have great mineral flavors and an extremely high level of acidity.
Another famous white wine of Badacsony is Szurkebarat of the Grey Monk. This wine is full bodied with a rich and sweet taste, light aromas and a golden colour.
Read more about Wineries in Badacsony to visit.
Places to Visit in Badacsony
Kisfaludy Aussichtsturm – The Kisfaludy Lookout Tower
The Kisfaludy Lookout Tower is the best place to experience the most wonderful panoramic views of the Balaton Uplands. The lookout tower is 438 meters tall and the original structure was built in the 1960s but has since been renovated. From the top of the tower one can see most of Balaton, all the surrounding villages, the Tapolca Bason, the volcanoes of the area and the Bakony Mountains. The tower is opened throughout the year and has no entry fee.
Romai Forras – The Roman Spring
The Romai Forras is a Roman spring that was once used as a source of water for the nearby Roman palace at the time. The spring was renovated in 2001 and is today a pleasure to visit. The crystal-clear water of the spring flows through a stone well. Around the well are benches and a fireplace for those wanting to relax and rejuvenate in nature. The spring creates a small pond which is wonderful to see.
Lengyel Chapel – The Church of the Lengyel Family
The Lengyel Chapel is a large chapel or church that was built by the Lengyel family in 1760 in place of the Szent Gyorgy Chapel. To access the chapel, visitors should begin at Szent Gyorgy – Hegy and before reaching the Hegymagas, go up the hill to the right. From here a paved road leads the whole way to the church.
Natural Beauty of Badacsony
The natural environment of Badacsony is a world of extremes from imposing volcanoes to long stretches of perfect beaches. The region is well known for its extraordinary beauty and is the perfect attraction for nature and wine lovers.
Badacsony Volcano Valley – The Valley of Volcanoes
The Badacsony Volcano Valley is the valley of Baldacsony which is dotted with old and inactive volcanoes. For hikers, many of the volcanoes can be climbed using different trekking routes. There are a number of different hiking routes up to the volcanoes of the valley that cater to a range of fitness levels. The valley can also be explored by bicycle and boat trips can be enjoyed on Lake Balaton.
Folly Arboretum – The Garden of Eden in Badacsony
The Folly Arboretum in Bardacsony is situated on 3.06 ha of land with a nearby forest of 1.6 ha. The arboretum provides wonderful views of the Kisorse Mountain and the Orsi Mountain. There are also views of the surrounding vineyards. The Folly Arboretum consists mainly of evergreen trees which make it exceptionally beautiful throughout the year. This is a wonderful place to relax and enjoy nature and the peace and quiet of the environment.
Experience Nature in the Balaton Uplands National Park
The Balaton Uplands National Park was declared a protected area in 1997 and covers 56 997 ha of land, divided into 6 protected areas. These areas are the Tihany Peninsula, the Pecselyi Basin, the Kali Bason, the Tapolca Basin, the Keszthely Mountains and the Kis Balaton. A national park is a wonderful place for nature lovers to visit and offers a range of activities including hiking, canoeing, and walking. The park has a number of visitor centers offering information and guided tours for those looking for a more formal tour. For visitors who would like to extend their stay, the park has a range of accommodation facilities to cater to all types of tourists.
The Wonderful Flavours of Badacsony
The Badacsony is increasingly becoming recognized as a food and drink destination thanks to its vibrant food scene and the range of eateries and establishments across the area offering meals to please every palate. The region is well known for its street food which provides visitors with a truly unique and local experience.
Duck Breast – Hungarian Duck
Hungarian duck has considered some of the best in the world thanks to the way the ducks are raised. The way that they are reared gives them a thick layer of luxurious fat that adds wonderful flavor to the meat. The rich flavor of the duck means that it does not need any additional ingredients and it is cooked using only salt and pepper. The breast is slowly cooked for three hours and is normally served with spaghetti and vegetables.
Fisherman’s Soup – Hungarian Halaszle
Halaszle is a traditional Hungarian fisherman’s soup that is made with paprika and tomatoes. The soup is cooked over an open fire for extra flavor. This hearty fish soup was originally made for fisherman along the banks of the Danube River and is normally eaten on Christmas Eve. The main ingredient of this soup is freshwater fish such as carp or pike.
Dobos Torte – Magnificent Hungarian Cake
Dobos Torte is a Hungarian cake that consists of multiple layers of cake. The cake comprises six soft chocolate layers covered with caramel icing. This elegant cake is perfect for any celebratory occasion or as a dessert following a delicious Hungarian meal.
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