Eger is a Hungarian wine region that is located in the northeast of the country, to the east of the Mantra foothills, in the Bukk Mountains. The city of Eger is a well-known baroque city known for its incredible large wine cellars, magnificent caverns, and some of Hungary’s most famous wine centers. What has made Eger legendary is its Egri Bikaver, a blended red wine that is also known as Bulls Blood. Legend has it that during the siege of the Ottoman Empire in the 16th century, the Eger troops stained their beards and armor with Egri Bikaver which led the enemies to believe that they had drunk the blood of bulls.
The Eger wine region can be found in the north east of Hungary, east of the Mantra foothills and at the foot of the Bukk Mountain. The city of Eger is a Baroque city that is characterized by enormous wine cellars, caverns and some of the most famous wine centers and cellars in Hungary.
What has made Eger famous as a wine region is the production of Egri Bikaver, which is also known as Bulls Blood. The legend of Eger goes that when the town was stormed in the 16th century during the Ottoman Empire, the Eger troops drenched themselves in Egri Bikaver, leaving their enemies to think that they had been consuming the blood of the local bulls.
The cool and continental climate of the Eger region means that it be suited for the production of both red and white grape varietals. The soils across the region are incredibly diverse and include calcareous, loess, alluvial, volcanic, ryolite tuff, and limestone soils. Along the southern slopes of the Nagy Eged Hill within the region is that are that is considered the best wine-growing part of Eger and where the most important terroir of the region is found. This is where some of the top vineyard sites are found, that produce some of the most superior Eger wines.
By far the most famous wine of the Eger region is the world renowned Bikaver. Bikaver is a dry red blend that is made using at least four grape varietals. The authorised varietals that can be used in its production are Kekoporto, Kadarka, Blauburger, Zweigelt, Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Menoire and Syrah. In making Bikaver, the wine needs to be aged in wooden barrels for a minimum of 6 months and cannot be released until the first of November of the year after the harvest.
Bikaver superior is a dry red blend that is made with a combined maximum of 30% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon. The wine must be aged for at least 12 months in a wooden barrel and for an additional 6 months in the bottle.
Bikaver Grand Superior wines are a dry red blend that also allow for 30% Cabernet Franc and Cabernet Sauvignon, but which must be aged for 15 months in widen barrels and for an additional 6 months in the bottle.
Another type of wine produced in the Eger region is Csillag, which is a dry, crisp and fruity wine. Superior and Grand Superior Csillag is also produced and these wines are rich with concentrated grapes that are aged in oak barrels and in the bottle. These wines are far more complex and less fruity than the regular Csillag wines and normally have notes of vanilla and spice which they acquire during the oak ageing process.
The Toth Ferenc Winery is a family-run winery and estate that focuses on producing the highest quality wines that pay tribute to the land of the Eger region. The entire wine-making process takes place on the estate itself to ensure quality control and the greatest of care. The story of viticulture at Toth Ferenc dates back to 1983 and the family welcomes visitors to the estate to enjoy a range of different wine tasting experiences.
The winemakers at Kovacs Nimrod Winery pride themselves on making the highest quality terroir-driven wines of the Eger region. The winery itself has situated over seven continuous cellars in Eger. The team at the winery enjoys welcoming guests to enjoy the estate wines in the restored facilities, in the VIP Knightsroom, or in the beautiful main tasting room.
The Castle of Eger is perfectly perched on a hillside within walking distance from the main city square in Eger. The Eger Castle is part of a fortification that was built during the 15th century. For the local people, the castle represents the bravery of the Hungarian soldiers who fought against the Turkish army in 1552. The castle itself has an inner and an outer fortress, a gate tower and six beautiful bastions. Although visiting the castle takes one back into history, there are a number of technological features at the site that make the visit even more pleasant for visitors such as a castle app and electronic guides. To access the castle from the square, cross the small Eger River and following the winding and meandering streets to the top of the hill where the main gates of the castle can be seen.
Ruins of Valdide Sultana Bath – Experience Turkish Bathing Culture in Hungary
The Ruins of Valdide Sultana Bath are located at the gates of the Eger Castle. These ruins are the remains of the Turkish bathing culture at the castle and although the baths are no longer clearly visible, historians confirm that this was once one of the most impressive baths in the region. The meaning of Ruins of Valdide Sultana Bath is ‘Sultan’s Mother’ as the baths were of great importance to the people of the Ottoman Empire. They presented a space where people could relax and converse and where men had a sense of community. The ruins of the baths are open every day from 10:30 – 17:00 and visiting them is the perfect addition to a trip to the Eger Castle.
The Basilica – The Saint Michael and Saint John Cathedral
The Basilica of Eger is also known to many as Saint Michael and Saint John Cathedral. This basilica is the cathedral of the archdiocese of Eger which means that it is where the bishops and the archbishop of the region are based. It is the second-largest religious building in Hungary and was built between 1831 and 1837. The famous statues inside the basilica were sculpted by a young sculptor in Venice and the internal decorations of the building took longer to do than the construction of the cathedral itself! One of the most impressive features inside the basilica is the organ which was built by Ludvig Moser of Salzburg. During the summer months, organ music is played for visitors every day at noon.
The Natural Beauty of Eger
Eger is considered the best tourist destination in Hungary for nature and outdoor lovers. The region offers a range of natural attractions from natural springs to mountains, lakes, and forests which provide a wonderful natural playground, particularly during the warm summer months.
Nagy Edged Hill – The Rising Hill of Eger
The Nagy Edged Hill is a hill that majestically rises out of the ground like an island, just northeast from the city center of Eger. The site of the hill can be seen from every part of the town and has become synonymous with its landscape. To reach the top of Nagy Edged Hill one can enjoy a 536m hike to enjoy the best views of Eger and the surrounding Bukk mountains. If the weather is clear, one can even see as far as the Matra mountains and the Tisza Lake. The route is an easy walk with some stony sections that can become slippery in wet weather. Nagy Edged Hill is an important nature conservation area as it is the place where the Great Plain and the Bukk Mountains meet. Along the walk up the hill, there are also rows of beautifully terraced vineyards that are perfectly planted to catch the sun’s rays. To escape the city, grab your hiking boots and take a walk up Nagy Edged Hill to experience the best of Eger’s natural beauty.
Szomolyai Kaptárkövek – The Beehive Rocks of Eger
Szomolyai kaptárkövek are rock formations found in Eger that are natural conical towers with cavities carved into them all the way up the sides. These rocks are very rare and can be best seen near Eger in the Bukkalija area between the valleys of the Tarna stream and the Hejo and Szinva streams. These unique rocks are made mostly from volcanic tuffs and their carvings can range in size. They are a true wonder to see and provide the perfect one in a million picture opportunity when visiting Eger.
Bel-Ko Mountain – The Bel Boulder of Eger
Bel Ko Mountain of the Bel Boulder is a popular hiking spot that is approximately half an hour away from Eger. Alongside the boulder and the mountain are a lake and a convent that was built in 1232. The Bel Boulder itself reaches high above the ground creating an extremely picturesque setting that is perfect for an escape to somewhere not far from the city of Eger. Bel Ko Mountain is the perfect place for some rest and relaxation in one of the most beautiful settings in Eger.
The Tasty Local Cuisine of Eger
The local cuisine of the Eger region is characterized by hearty, rich dishes that pair well with the famous local red wine, particularly the distinguished bulls blood red. Eger provides visitors with a gastronomic adventure that is the perfect introduction to Hungarian food.
Meggyleves – Sour Cherry Soup
Meggyleves is a wonderful sweet and sour soup and that popular across the Eger region. This seasonal soup is made with fresh sour cherries, mixed with sour cream, sugar, and cinnamon. Meggyleves are most commonly found at small lunch restaurants and canteens in the Summer. To make the soup even more decadent, it can be enjoyed topped with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.
Kremes – A Mouthwatering Creamy Dessert
Kremes are a delicious creamy dessert that are made with two layers of puff pastry that are held together with a generous helping of smooth pastry cream. Over time the recipe has become modernized, but the basic thing that remains is that the pastry cream should be light and fluffy, and the tops should be dusted with powdered sugar. When served, kremes are cut into large rectangular shaped slices. This wonderful dessert can be found at any pastry shop across Eger.
Paprikas Krumpli – Paprika Stew
Paprikas Krumpli is a paprika stew that is made with potatoes and local sausages. In preparing the stew, the potatoes are diced and peeled and cooked with onions, red peppers, sausage slices, garlic and water. The dish is flavoured with salt and pepper and left to cook over a fire for the best smoky taste. The delicious and hearty meal can be found across Eger and pairs perfectly with a glass of local red wine.
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Soil: Calcareous, loess, alluvial, limestone and volcanic ryolite tuff
Aszar-Neszmely wine region is a great destination with a broad offering of wineries with wine tasting and tours. On our website you can book your visits in order to be prepared for your time in the region.