The Villany wine region of Hungary is located in the southern part of Transdanubia, close to the country’s border with Croatia. This wine region is extremely well known for its excellent and highly prized Bordeaux red blends that are produced in the saddle land in the Villany Hills. Viticulture in Villany dates back to the Roman Times, after which the region was completely destroyed under Turkish rule. Despite this, viticulture in the area continued to grow and in the 19th century the reputation of the vines here gained international acclaim. Villany is the perfect wine region for red wine lovers to experience and explore.
Villany is considered as one of Hungary’s most dynamic wine regions. This wine producing region is located in the southern section of Transdanubia, close to the Croatian border. It is best known for its excellent Bordeaux blend red wines that are made in the saddle land located in the Villany Hills.
The history of viticulture in Villany dates back to the Roman Times. During this time, wine production began in the region but shortly hereafter it was completely destroyed under the Turkish rule. After this viticulture began to remerge as the people of the surrounding villages planted rows of vines. German settlers arrived in Billany in 1740 and brought with them Oporto black grapes which are now known as Potugieser. This provided a great boost to viticulture in the area and the cultivation of vines. Despite its long history of wine making, it was during the 19th century that Villany wines gained their excellent reputation. Since then, the region has played a vital role in viticulture in Hungary and in the export of wine across Europe. Today, the total area planted with vines in Villany is 4522 ha, most of which are planted with red varietals.
The location of the Villany region on the slopes of the Villany mountains means that it is well protected from the cold northern wines. This location gives the region a Mediterranean meso climate with incredibly long hours of sunshine and wonderful warmth. The climatic conditions are also perfect for the late ripening of grapes such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
The soil of the region is predominantly dolomite, with pockets of marl and limestone that are covered with sand loess. The limestone debris has a very high level of calcium that can result in the production of acidic wines, while the loess produces far softer wines.
The Land of the Most Impressive Hungarian Red Wines
The Villany wine region is best known for its outstanding Bordeaux red blends. These wines are made by blending various grape varietals such as Kelkfrankos, Kekoporto or Zweigelt. Kekfrancos is a very fashionable grape from Austria where it is known as Blaufrankisch. Kekoporto is a common red grape varietal in Hungary that is known elsewhere as Blauer Portugieser. The Villany red wines are powerful to drink and are strong in character. They have a commanding structure and are heavy and tannic.
The Kelkfrankos and Kekoporto grapes are also used for the production of rose wines.
The Gunzer Family Winery is a family-owned winery located in Villany, Hungary. The family and team at the winery strive to produce pure wines that reflect the natural characteristics of the vintage and of the grape varietals used. Visitors to the estate are welcome to enjoy the wine terrace with panoramic views of the vineyards and the surrounding landscape. The terrace offers wine tasting and meals and ensures guests the opportunity to experience the best in Hungarian hospitality.
Bock Estate is owned and run by the Bock family who has been growing vines and producing wine in the region since 1850. The wines of the estate are made from grapes grown on their own land on the slopes of Villany. Visitors are welcome at the Bock Estate cellar to taste the wines and learn the secrets of the winemakers. The estate is also home to the 4-star Bock Hotel Ermitage for those looking to extend their stay.
Gal Cellar and Wine Museum – Visit One of the Largest Wine Collections in Hungary
The Gal Cellar and Wine Museum is one of the most popular tourist attractions in Villany. The museum educates visitors on the history of wine making in Villany, the development of viticulture in the area and on the various wine making techniques used by local wine makers. The building that houses the museum was once the press house of Zsigmond Teleki, one of the world’s most famous grape breeders and wine makers. Inside the museum there are various exhibitions focused on viticulture and experiences guides are available to answer all questions. Wine tasting can be enjoyed at the museum by prior arrangement and there is also a shop where visitors can purchase wines and souvenirs.
Castle Siklos – The Castle that guards the border of Hungary
The castle of Siklos is known for being the castle that guards the southern border of Hungary/ the first mention of the castle was in 1924 and since then it has passed ownership through various noble families and royalty. During World War II, the local government kept British, American and Polish prisoners in the castle until they were transferred out in 1944. Between 2009 and 2011 the castle was renovated to its current magnificent state. Today the Castle of Siklos is one of the most interesting and beautiful tourist attractions in Villany, attracting thourands of visitors each year. It houses a number of exhibitions and attractions including dungeons, torture chambers and military shows. There is also a wine cellar and a souvenir shop inside. Throughout the year the castle hosts a number of different events including team building and conferences.
Beremendi Megbekeles Kapolna – The Reconciliation Chapel
The Reconcilation Chapel in Villany is a monument to the war that took place at the southern border of Hungary. The chapel was built using locally extracted granite and is symbolic of the suffering that the local people of Villany endured during the time of war. The architecture of the chapel was inspired by the resilience of the people and their determination not to fall during the toughest times. One of the most impressive features of the chapel is the memorial stone with the inscription 1991-1998 what was laid on the day that the chapel was dedicated. The chapel holds a very special place in the hearts of the local people and is the perfect place for visitors to pay their respects and learn about the history of the site.
Villany and its Great Outdoors
The natural beauty of Villany is thanks to its excellent location wedged in between the Great Hungarian Plain, the Baranya Hills, and the Villany Mountains. The mountains and hills provide the perfect location for a range of outdoor activities and for people to escape into untouched nature. Villany is one of the most beautiful wine regions in the world and a must-see for nature lovers.
Drava River – The Eco-tourism Hub of Villany
The Hungarian part of the Drava river flows spectacularly for a distance of 357 kms through some of the country’s most beautiful landscapes. The river is today the hub of eco-tourism in the country and attracts many visitors throughout the year. The facilities and activities available at the river include crossing the Rinya Bridge at Barcs, enjoying the river pier, swimming, and enjoying a range of holiday resorts that have well equipped amenities such as showers, toilets and changing facilities. There are also numerous educational facilities along the river that teach visitors about the environment and tis fauna and flora. The best way to explore the river is to book accommodation on its banks and enjoy its beauty either by boat or along the various hiking trails on its shores.
Szarsomlyo Mountain – The Towering Peak of the Villany Mountains
Szarsomlyo is the highest peak of the Villany Mountains, towring at 442 meters high, 3.5 km long and 1.5 km wide. The name of the peak comes from the Hungarian word for ‘bold’ and it is mentioned in many of the region’s historical texts. The mountain peak is located inside the Szarsomlyo Mountain Nature Reserve and is the perfect place to enjoy hikes and long walks in the most unspoilt natural environment if Villany. There are a range of walking trails to cater the needs of all who visit and the views from the top of the surrounding areas and vineyards makes the walk completely worth it.
Harangtornyos-Kilato – The Bell Tower Lookout
The Harangtornyos-Kilato is an old bell tower and lookout point in Villany. The lookout tower is easy to climb thanks to well-constructed steps and a sturdy handrail and the views from the top are truly magnificent. At the bottom of the tower is the Ammonites educational trail that is approximately 3km long. The trail takes visitors through a former quarry which was cultivated during the Roman times to the adjacent valley. The path passes through the habitats of many wonderful creatures such as bee eaters and is a wonderful protected area to explore. At the end of the valley the path is closed by a cliff wall that can be easily climbed to reach another lookout tower.
The Gastronomic World of Villany
The local cuisine of Villany comprises mainly of traditional Hungarian dishes that pair well with the outstanding locally produced red wines. This cuisine is mostly continental Central European with some influences of eastern Europe. Bread is a feature with almost every meal, particularly the rich and tasty soups, and casseroles. The wide range of delicious meals on offer in Villany makes it a wonderful destination for any food and wine lover.
Hal Paprikas – Hungarian Fish Stew
Hal Paprikas is also known as Fis Paprikas. This dish is a traditional fish stew that is cooked in a large cast iron cauldron over an open fire. The fish stew is spicy in flavour and is normally made using a variety of different freshwater fish such as carp, pike, catfish and starlet. The flavour of the stew is thanks to the use of large amounts of ground red paprika which can range from mild to extremely hot. The stew is normally served with noodles and accompanied by hot paprika on the side so that people can increase the spiciness if they would like to. Hal Paprikas is so popular in Vallany that the region hosts numerous Hal Paprikas cooking competitions throughout the year.
Csirkepaprikas – The Trademark of Villany Cuisine
Csirkepaprikas in English translates to chicken paprikash. This dish is a staple across Hungary and the Villany region and a trademark of the local cuisine. Csirkepaprikas is a simple dish that is made of chicken, onion, peppers, sour cream and paprika. The paprika is by far the star of the dish and is the spice most commonly associated with Villany. The tradition of growing peppers here goes back to the 16th century when the Ottomans brought peppers to Hungary. Csirkepaprikas is a delicious and heart-warming dish that is normally served with a broad noodle called nokedli, tagliatelle or rice. The best accompaniment to the dish is a cucumber salad to counter the spiciness of the peppers.
Solet – The Hungarian Jewish Stew
Solet is a Hungarian – Jewish stew that is most traditionally cooked on a Friday night before the sabbath. This dish consists of paprika, beans, boiled eggs and meat. Different kinds of meat can be used such as pork, duck, beef or goose. The locals in Villany will all say that Solet is better the day after it was cooked and paired with some bread, rice, or noodles and a glass of excellent local red wine.
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.