A term, that after nearly 20 years in the wine industry, I’d never come across.

It refers to the native and now terribly obscure grapes of Hungary, a country that is just now beginning to export it’s 2000 year-old winemaking heritage to the West, and the topic of Bruce Schoenfeld’s latest article in Travel & Leisure: "Wine’s Next Frontier".

Travel & Leisure Magazine isn’t The Wine Spectator. And it surely isn’t Robert Parker’s Wine Advocate. Yet it is the source of one of the best first person wine articles I’ve read in some time.

Schoenfeld is on a quest. He wants something different; something very far beyond the monochromatic Chardonnays, Cabernets and Syrahs that seem to come from a single tube, regardless of the country or appellation on the bottle. That took him to Hungary where he took to searching out authentic "Hungaricum", the heirloom wines of that country.

Along the way the reader meets the "wine archaeologist", learns that communism may have been better for Hungarian winemaking that the newish free-market, and that this free market might spell the demise of the country’s native grapes.

This is great wine writing; a kind of prose that you rarely get inside the wine magazines of the U.S. or England.

Read it…

Then…learn more about Hungarian wines and grapes HERE.

6 Responses

  1. JB - April 24, 2006

    Thanks for recommending the article. My wife and I spent a week in Budapest in June of ’04 and I was blown away by how good the local wines were. Since then I’ve been frustrated to find that they’re almost impossible to get in the US–or at least in Boston.

  2. dfredman - April 24, 2006

    Thanks for the link, this really is what wine journalism should be all about.
    The sentiments behind Oszvald’s comment concerning the winemaker’s inability to “reject the verdict of the marketplace” holds true in every wine region where native grapes are being yanked in favor of “noble varieties”.

  3. JD - April 24, 2006

    Thank you very much for the link to one of the best examples of wine and travel writing that I’ve read in a very long time. I was enthralled. This is what we should be getting from our star-struck wine magazines.

  4. btobin - April 24, 2006

    Another great site for Hungarian wines.
    To find wines, shop the better wine shops in your area or

  5. Erik Wait - July 28, 2008

    I have enjoyed reading your blog and find it to be very informative. I started my own blog which focuses on traveling in the California wine countries:
    I have also put together pictures I have taken over the past few years of various wineries, vineyards at my “Adventures in Wine Tasting” Photography Youtube site at:
    Grace & Peace,
    Erik Wait

  6. Boat holiday yorkshire - October 20, 2008

    Very good contents.Thanks for sharing

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