Sexy Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Bikavér trio served up by Szekszárd

Once considered a cheap and cheerful but less polished alternative to its more coveted southern neighbour of Villány, Szekszárd has confidently set sail off on its own course with its increasingly sophisticated and complex reds. Long loved by consumers for its excellent value for money, Szekszárd’s vintners are now also succeeding in making more varietally pure Kékfrankos and Kadarka, which also play a key role in the region’s flagship Bikavér blend.

Szekszárd is wisely focussing on a three-pronged approach of single varietal Kadarka (including exploring different clones) and Kékfrankos, and the Bikavér blend, which come in their own Burgundy style bottles. The way the word Szekszárd is embossed under the neck of the bottle a la Châteauneuf-du-Pape is a nice reference to the spice of the Rhône, which is also a feature of Szekszárd reds.

Szekszárd is the Hungarian epicentre of the Kadarka grape (the same grape as Bulgaria’s Gamza) which came to Hungary from the Balkans, supposedly brought by Serbs fleeing Ottoman invaders. However, for so long its wine has all too often either been watery and insipid on the one hand, or overdone and covered in an oaky, overripe and tannic cloak and trying to be something it’s not, on the other. Now plenty deliciously spicy and playfully light Kadarkas are coming through, typically exuding a distinctive rose hip note.

Bikavér is typically based on a Kékfrankos backbone and is fleshed out with international varieties, especially the Bordeaux grapes, and enables such grapes to play an important role without hogging the local limelight. The finishing touch is the spice and aromatics added by a few percent of Kadarka. A few percent is all that’s needed or else its pronounced aromas can start to take over, something not desired in a wine in which the aim is for no grape to dominate.

Incidentally, Bikavér is not often referred to by its English form of Bull’s Blood any more, due to the wine’s not entirely former association with the bottom shelf of supermarkets. Szekszárd and Eger lock horns over which region coined the term Bikavér first but while the northern Hungarian region of Eger battles with different levels of quality, Szekszárdi tends to be a higher end wine. In Eger, where the Kadarka grape was grubbed up during communism in favour of higher yielding varieties as opposed to Szekszárd where it survived, winemakers are increasingly planting Kadarka to add it to their Bikavér blends.

Szekszárd is strongly associated with its loess soils and as such is sometimes wrongly dismissed as incapable of making truly great wine. It should not be forgotten that some excellent wines come from loess. These include Wagram and parts of Wachau and Kremstal in Austria, where it is prized for its ability to make fuller Grüner Veltliner; many top German vineyards; and eastern Washington, USA. Indeed, some of Tokaj’s and Hungary most elegant wine comes from loess-dominated vineyards. However, there’s other soil and rock types lurking under the loess in Szekszárd with lots of red clay and chunks of limestone in the Szekszárdian mix, with the red clay (terra rossa) clearly visible and poking through as you drive around this undulating region.

Szekszárd will be one of excursions that will be part of the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest in collaboration with Premium Sponsor, The Hungarian Tourism Agency.

Robert Smyth

Robert Smyth is a Budapest-based wine journalist, writer and communicator. He is the author of Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World (Blue Guides, 2015). He has been been covering wine for more than 15 years and writes on Hungarian and international wine for the Budapest Business Journal (BBJ), Winesofa.eu, VinCE Magazin and Wine Connoisseur,  among others. He’s also served as deputy editor of the Circle of Wine Writer’s Update and edited David Copp’s Wines of Hungary and contributed to the same author’s Tokaj: a companion for the bibulous traveller. He holds the WSET Diploma and Advanced certificates from London’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust, run tastings for Tasting Table and also guide tours for Taste Hungary. He regularly judges at Hungarian and international competitions and also translates wine text from Hungarian to English.

Photos: Zsófia Pályi, Balázs Szabó and Krisztina Kovács

Paul Richer confirmed as the first headliner for IWINETC 2018

We are thrilled to announce Paul Richer, founder of Genesys Digital Transformation, a management consultancy specialising in providing strategic advice on all matters relating to the application of technology to the travel, tourism and hospitality industries as our first confirmed keynote speaker at the 10th edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest in collaboration with Premium Sponsor, The Hungarian Tourism Agency.

Paul will draw on his 20+ year long experience of travel industry strategy and operations to deliver a talk titled: Travel in a Digital World:

Your customer base is evolving.  Digital immigrants – those who were born prior to the Internet era – are giving way to the digital natives of Generations Y and Z.  They now have the earning power to be an increasing proportion of your future customer base.  Digital natives have only ever known communication without borders, instant access to any information that might interest them this particular second in time, building wide but perhaps shallow circles of online friends, making their own news through social media.  Yet, in the wine and culinary tourism industry, the majority of our businesses are still run by digital immigrants.  How do we need to adapt and change to embrace the digital world?  What are the characteristics of digital natives that need to be understood to drive our digital marketing?  How can our businesses remain relevant and attractive?  In this session you will learn about the future digital marketplace and what your business needs to do to continue to thrive in an increasingly digitally-driven world.

The IWINETC Conference talk programme stretches across two days covering five topical content themes all aimed at inspiring and educating delegates with sessions that tangibly add value to their business life and personal development.

Paul Richer’s session will take place on 10 April 2018

IWINETC is the most important global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry and is expected to attract around 400 delegates from around the world.

To register for IWINETC 2018 visit: https://www.iwinetc.com/2018hungary/iwinetcattendance

Villány: a very welcoming wine tourism destination

Villány positively oozes charm and hands wine travellers a truly warm welcome with its old world cellar rows that contrast with spanking state-of-the-art wineries, while it veers between muscularly robust and refined reds wine wise.

Nestled close to the Croatian border, protected from northern cold by hills and replete with a sub-Mediterranean climate, the barren yet prime site of the limestone Kopár vineyard, which lies on the southern slopes of the pyramid-like Szársomlyó Hill, looks like it could be straight out of coastal Croatia. Another great vineyard is the Ördögárok, which was painstakingly reclaimed from the forest at the beginning of this century. A cool flow of air that blows through this valley keeps things cool enough to prevent the wines becoming cooked and jammy. In all, Villány has more than 2,500 hectares under vine, and which also encompasses the pretty vinous settlements of Palkonya, Villánykövesd, Nagyharsány, Kisharsány and Siklós.

Villany has long been associated with big, tannic red blends made from the Bordeaux varieties. When the grapes are harvested at the right time (which is certainly not always the case), the limestone soils help preserve the acidity, build the structure and ensure elegant wines, although the overripe, over-extracted and heavily tannic style that has seduced many a Hungarian palate is still alive and well today. Among the Bordeaux varieties, it is Cabernet Franc that has emerged ahead of its usually more eminent peers to find its own unique expression in Villány. In spring 2014, a joint effort was launched by many of the region’s winemakers to unite and promote its flagship grape Cabernet Franc, using the Villányi Franc moniker for premium wines from this grape. Vylyan’s Mónika Debreczeni opines that the page that describes what Cabernet Franc needs to thrive is identical to what Villány offers. Cabernet Franc ripens a week earlier than Cabernet Sauvignon with no green flavours, according to Attila Gere, one of the region’s pioneers, who has now gone fully organic.

The Kékfrankos grape was often an afterthought in Villány and was long considered way down the pecking order topped by the Bordeaux grapes, but it is now coming along nicely after years of relative neglect to make riper wines with darker fruit than usual for the grape, reflecting the warm climate.

Portugieser typically makes youthful light wines bursting with primary fruit that are put on the market soon after the harvest and serve to generate cash flow while winemakers wait for their big guns to come online. While German Swabians played a massive role in the development of Villány over the centuries, it is a new wave of Germans – Wassmann and Hummel – who are proving that you can make high quality wine out of unfancied varietals if you treat them with tender loving care. The German and Swiss owned Heumann have had similar success with the Kadarka grape.

Villány will be one of excursions that will be part of the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest in collaboration with Premium Sponsor, The Hungarian Tourism Agency.

Robert Smyth

Robert Smyth is a Budapest-based wine journalist, writer and communicator. He is the author of Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World (Blue Guides, 2015). He has been been covering wine for more than 15 years and writes on Hungarian and international wine for the Budapest Business Journal (BBJ), Winesofa.eu, VinCE Magazin and Wine Connoisseur,  among others. He’s also served as deputy editor of the Circle of Wine Writer’s Update and edited David Copp’s Wines of Hungary and contributed to the same author’s Tokaj: a companion for the bibulous traveller. He holds the WSET Diploma and Advanced certificates from London’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust, run tastings for Tasting Table and also guide tours for Taste Hungary. He regularly judges at Hungarian and international competitions and also translates wine text from Hungarian to English.

Photos: Furmint Photo

Hungary Prime for Wine Tourism

Hungary’s wine regions are a delight to travel around with their über cool combination of centuries old cellar rows interspersed with state-of-the-art wineries, set in charming, rolling and utterly welcoming countryside. Despite Hungary being quite a small country, there are plethora terroir-related factors at play that result in unique wine of various styles across Hungary’s 64,000 hectares under vine. All of the regions in this article will be visited by many of the attendees of the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest in collaboration with Premium Sponsor, The Hungarian Tourism Agency.

Starting just some 30km west of Budapest, Etyek easily provides a quick fix for vine junkies. However, there’s so much more about Etyek and its elegant wines than the proximity to the capital. There’s usually a strong breeze blowing in Etyek and add on the white calcareous soil that dominates the region, then the conditions are ripe for making vibrant wines with tongue tingling acidity and fresh aromas. Most of the wine is white here, with the likes of Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and increasingly Zöldveltelini (the Hungarian moniker for Austria’s Grüner Veltliner) thriving – the latter can be considered almost local! Given the soils, it also comes as no surprise that the Etyek-Buda region has a strong sparkling wine tradition. Pinot Noir can also be pristinely pure here.

Eger is famous, or perhaps even infamous, for its Bull’s Blood (Bikavér) but it is slowly succeeding in distancing itself from the bottom-shelf Bikavérs associated mainly but unfortunately not exclusively with the past. The region’s vintners are putting increasingly sophisticated and complex Bikavérs on the table that reflect the attributes of its relatively cool northern climate with volcanic rhyolitic tuff, limestone and brown forest soils. The backbone for Bikavér comes from the local Kékfrankos grape, which is the most planted red wine variety in the country and is the same grape as Austria’s Blaufränkish. The Bikavér blend is fleshed out with and beefed up by other grape varieties, including the Bordeaux varietals, with a minimum of three grapes required for the entry-level Classic category and a minimum of five for the more yield-restricted Superior category – with no one grape supposed to dominate.

Once the dominant variety in Eger, but grubbed up during communism due to it being difficult to cultivate, the Kadarka grape is making a comeback and just a few percent can add valuable spice and perfume to the Bikavér blend. Look out for the white Egri Csillag blend, which is essentially the white version of Bikavér that was launched following the 2010 vintage. The city of Eger is a baroque beauty and serves as a wonderful base to explore the region, although there also some excellent wellness hotels with superb spa facilities nearby. For a great view of Eger, walk up to the castle that overlooks the town, which is where the marvellous Magyars fuelled by the ‘blood of bulls’ are said to have repelled Ottoman advances.

In the country’s south, Szekszárd also has a claim to be the first to make Bikavér and the more robust style reflects the warmer climate, although Kadarka never went away here and is every producers’ magic ingredient. Kékfrankos is also becoming much classier in Szekszárd, oozing vibrant sour cherry notes. Szekszárd is the source of excellent value reds and rosés, as well as siller – red wine grapes given between two and three days skin contact, producing a wine somewhere between a rosé and a red. A number of producers have teamed up to market these under the ‘Fuxli’ label, the word Fuxli referring to a small fox (reflecting the colour of the wine) in the local Swabian dialect. Incidentally, Swabian Germans have had a huge impact on winemaking in regions such as Etyek, Szekszárd and Villány.

Still further south than Szekszárd and close to the Croatian border, Villany has long been associated with robust blends made from the Bordeaux varieties with Cabernet Franc emerging ahead of its usually more eminent peers to find its own unique expression in this sub-Mediterranean climate. When the grapes are harvested in time, the limestone soils help preserve the acidity and build the structure. Kékfrankos is also coming along nicely after years of relative neglect to make riper wines with darker fruit than usual. Playfully light Portugieser hits the market just a few weeks after the harvest and makes ideal quaffing wine, although a few dedicated souls are capable of making something more complex. Villány and other neighbouring towns have charming cellar rows oozing old world charm and many of these cellars are still going strong.

Big red wines, as well as round and fruity whites, can also be produced on the southern side of Lake Balaton in the Balatonboglár region, where the soils are predominantly loess (similar to Szekszárd), or on the Tihány peninsula that juts out into the lake on the northern side. What locals often refer to as the ‘Hungarian Sea’ is not only big (Central Europe’s largest lake) and beautiful, but it is also prime winemaking country with varying soils across its six regions that lie either on or close to the lake. Much of Hungary’s best Olaszrizling comes from the hilly northern side – from the volcanic basalt of Badascony, or the Káli Basin where limestone also features, or from the mixed cocktail of soils of Csopak, although the some stunners are now coming from the southern shores.

Just a half hour’s drive north of Badascony, Somló has similar basalt soils to Badacsony. Somló Hill (dramatically topped by castle ruins) is the same kind of striking, sawn-off, flat-topped volcanic mesa as Badacsony Hill and several other Badacsony hills, but the impact of the lake is much less in Somló than it is in Badacsony (the latter being right on the lake). Consequently, Somló’s wines are edgier and racier than the more rounded and fruitier style of Badascony. Somló is the smallest of Hungary’s 22 wine regions but it makes some of Hungary’s biggest whites. It also has the Furmint and Hárslevelű grapes in common with Tokaj.

UNESCO-listed Tokaj may be steeped in a history based on sublime sweet, botrytised wines but time does not stand still, even for the wine region that was the first in the world to have its vineyards officially classified. Tokaj, whose sweet wines are among the very best in the world, has seen that the future is dry and Furmint and Hárslevelű are now working their magic as single varietal dry whites that capture the nuances of Tokaj’s varied vineyards that can vary greatly within a few metres, with various volcanic rocks and loess in the mix. Furmint and Hárslevelű, so great as a team in the botrytised Aszú wine that made the region famous, are now also being blended in dry wines to remarkable effect.

Robert Smyth

Robert Smyth is a Budapest-based wine journalist, writer and communicator. He is the author of Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World (Blue Guides, 2015). He has been been covering wine for more than 15 years and writes on Hungarian and international wine for the Budapest Business Journal (BBJ), Winesofa.eu, VinCE Magazin and Wine Connoisseur,  among others. He’s also served as deputy editor of the Circle of Wine Writer’s Update and edited David Copp’s Wines of Hungary and contributed to the same author’s Tokaj: a companion for the bibulous traveller. He holds the WSET Diploma and Advanced certificates from London’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust, run tastings for Tasting Table and also guide tours for Taste Hungary. He regularly judges at Hungarian and international competitions and also translates wine text from Hungarian to English.

Top 6 Reasons to Come to Budapest, Hungary for IWINETC

2018 sees the 10th edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) travel to Budapest, Hungary where around 400 conference delegates are expected. With so many good reasons to attend, it’s hard to narrow down the long list of reasons to come to Hungary. Below are our top 6.

  • Be wowed by around 25 talks and round tables including sessions with Felicity Carter, Chief editor of Meininger’s Wine Business International, Paul Richer, Senior Partner at Genesys – application of technology to the travel, tourism and hospitality industries & back by popular demand, Judith Lewis, Search & Online Marketing Authority.
  • Discover new grape escape destinations from around the world at the exhibition area.
  • Taste great wines not only from Hungary but also from diverse wine producing countries such as Armenia, Bulgaria, Italy, Greece and Spain.
  • Make business connections at the B2B Wine Tourism Workshop.
  • Join the party at the IWINETC networking evening events, where Hungary showcases their wines, culture, music and cuisine.
  • Finally, discover Hungary as a grape escape destination by participating in one or all of the pre and post conference tours to Etyek, Eger and Tokaj.

The 2018 and 10th edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference will take place in Budapest at the 5* Budapest Marriott Hotel on  the 10th and 11th April 2018 working closely with our premium sponsor, the Hungarian Tourism Agency (Directorate for Gastronomy and Wine Marketing) . It’s the perfect setting to gain knowledge, improve business connections, network and discover Hungarian wines and Hungary as a grape escape destination.

Early bird registration here>>

 

Tokaj Terroir Turns Up Trumps

UNESCO-listed Tokaj may be steeped in a history based on sublime sweet wines but time does not stand still, even for the wine region that was the first in the world to have its vineyards officially classified. With consumer palates progressively preferring dry wine to sweet, Tokaj’s terrific terroir is turning its hand to making dry wine with considerable aplomb. Nevertheless, the botrytised sweet Tokaji Aszú still remains the icing on the Tokaj cake. Tokaj will be one of excursions that will be part of the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest in collaboration with Premium Sponsor, The Hungarian Tourism Agency

With a little help from modern technology aside, Tokaji Aszú is largely made in the same way as it has been made for centuries, whereby botrytised grapes that were painstakingly picked berry by berry in several sweeps of the vineyard during a prolonged harvest season are added to a base wine. The grapes are afflicted by ‘noble rot’ that envelops the vineyards in the autumn, helped by the proximity of the Bodrog and Tisza rivers which actually meet in the town of Tokaj. This noble rot shrivels the berries and intensifies the flavours, the acidity and the sugars. However, thanks to the Furmint grape’s pronounced acidity, a good Aszú is never flabby or cloying, but rather unbelievably complex, layered and incredibly long. 

This hilly region, located in the north-east of Hungary, is buzzing with vinous action whereby state-of-the-art wineries contrast with charming and ever so slightly spooky cellars that have stood proud for centuries. Now is a great time to visit Tokaj with artisanal producers popping up to provide delicious nibbles and local restaurants serving up some delectable and imaginative dishes to go with the ever-improving wine.

Tokaj also offers superb subterranean action with its never ending network of cellars where you will see a magic mould growing on the walls. This serves to keep the cellars clean so that the sweet wines can age for years in small, 136-litre gönci barrels that come from oak growing in the nearby Zemplén hills. Tokaj Oremus’ cellars run for a whopping 4km and descending the steps into the cellar is like entering another, much older world. Yet up top the winery is immaculately clean and modern. Vega Sicilia, the premium Spanish producer, combined a number of local cellars (including one once owned by the family of William Fox, founder of the Fox Film Corporation), when it got on the Tokaj train and founded Oremus in the early 90s. The fact that an investor as serious as Vega Sicilia, and there are other big foreign names involved in Tokaj, should choose this Hungarian region to set up its only foreign winery speaks volumes about how hallowed Tokaj terroir is.

While the Furmint grape’s pedigree in making Tokaji Aszú and other sweet late-harvest wines dates back centuries, it is only in this century that it has been making dry wines of serious breeding. The dry movement has been led by the likes of István Szepsy, the doyen of winemaking in the region, and indeed in all Hungary, and Oremus – the former pursuing more of a single-vineyard approach when the vintage allows and the latter going for a blend.

The transition to dry has not been a smooth one and for a long time, even wines from some of the biggest Tokaj names were often smothered in too much oak to allow the characteristics of the grape or the place of growth to come through. Then, the high alcohol and searing acidity would often finish your palate off. However, local vintners have for the most part now learnt they should rein back on the oak and the alcohol, allowing the Furmint grape to do the talking. Dry Furmint can be taut and linear, with racy acidity and quince, citrus fruit and hazelnut notes, although it is also an excellent articulator of terroir and does capture the nuances of different places of growth. A broad distinction can be drawn between the loess soils around the town of Tokaj that produce softer, rounder and fruitier wines, and the tenser and edgier wines from  the cocktail of volcanic soils around the town of Mád where the soil composition can change every few metres. Not far from Mád, the volcanic vineyards around the village of Tállya are a new hotspot.

More attention has recently been going into getting the best out of Hárslevelű, the second most widely planted grape in Tokaj after number one Furmint, as a dry wine. It appears that it can also be a good articulator of terroir. Hárslevelű, although a mouthful to pronounce, can also have more generous aromas and flavours than Furmint, which deliciously merge fruit with florality, and it can also age very well. Some of the best dry wines are actually starting to be blends of these two grapes which have always worked so well together in sweet wines, as Tokaj confidently draws on the past to define its future.

Robert Smyth

Robert Smyth is a Budapest-based wine journalist, writer and communicator. He is the author of Hungarian Wine: A Tasting Trip to the New Old World (Blue Guides, 2015). He has been been covering wine for more than 15 years and writes on Hungarian and international wine for the Budapest Business Journal (BBJ), Winesofa.eu, VinCE Magazin and Wine Connoisseur,  among others. He’s also served as deputy editor of the Circle of Wine Writer’s Update and edited David Copp’s Wines of Hungary and contributed to the same author’s Tokaj: a companion for the bibulous traveller. He holds the WSET Diploma and Advanced certificates from London’s Wine and Spirit Education Trust, run tastings for Tasting Table and also guide tours for Taste Hungary. He regularly judges at Hungarian and international competitions and also translates wine text from Hungarian to English.

IWINETC Updates Logo & Brand Identity

The International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), the world’s most recognizable brand for wine tourism professionals unveiled the evolution of its brand identity, a modernized and simplified update to its iconic red grape coloured logo and new look and feel for branded communications and experiences. It was announced today.

“IWINETC is one of those unique brands that is instantly recognizable around the wine and culinary tourism world,” said Anthony Swift, IWINETC Director. “In order to stand out in the new digital world, we want to modernize and elevate the brand in a design that is simple and elegant, yet unquestionably IWINETC.”

The 2018 edition and 10th anniversary of IWINETC will be held in Budapest and we are working closely with our premium sponsor, the Hungarian Tourism Agency (Directorate for Gastronomy and Wine Marketing) and local partners Wine a’ More Travel and Premium Incoming Hungary to bring conference delegates the best education, the best business opportunities, the best networking events and show the very best of Hungary as a grape escape destination.¨

The evolved brand identity will be rolled out to all IWINETC communications and conference related matters by the end of August 2017.

Top 5 things to do in Hungary for Food & Wine Lovers

Outstanding wines, stunning vineyard views, delicious culinary delights and steaming thermal natural spas are Hungary’s major attractions for food and wine lovers.

Visit stunning wine regions

Perhaps the best known wine and region in Hungary is Tokaj – a picturesque town of old buildings, nesting storks and wineries offering the famed honey gold sweet Tokaj. The road from Tokaj to the village of Mád offers stunning views and a wealth of family run wineries well worth popping into. Between Tokaj and Budapest is the Upper Hungary wine region. Baroque influenced Eger is the perfect base to discover bold reds known as Bull’s Blood produced in wineries dug inside old quarries.

Another spectacular grape escape in Hungary is Balaton. Lake Balaton or Hungary’s Sea is Europe’s largest lake (also Europe’s largest thermal lake) and it is largely flanked on all sides by wineries producing bold reds and crisp whites. Close by to the north-east is Somló, a single extinct volcano producing two of the many unpronounceable grape varieties in Hungary –  Hárslevelú and Juhfark.

Head South- East to the hilly wine region of Szekszárd. The premier grape here is Kadarka and red wines tend to be softer and less complex than in Eger and further south in Villány.

Close to the border of Hungary with Serbia is the Villány wine region with producers working with international grape varieties such as Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon Merlot and Pinot Noir. An evening ramble along Baross Gábor utca is a great way to sample wines of the region and a trip to the cellars at nearby Villánykövesd is a sight not to miss – rows of wine cellars cut directly into the loess soil.

Tipple on Pálinka

Every wine region has it’s potent brew and Hungary is no exception. Pálinka is the name given to fruit flavoured brandy with alcohol content of anything between 40 and 70%. Taken both as an aperitif or as an after meal chaser. Another liqueur with a punch is the bitter Unicum which has a chocolate brown colour.

Eat like a Magyar

Dining in Hungary is not unlike dining in Georgia (venue for IWINETC 2014) – huge and heavy meaty meals big on flavour. But it is not all beef, pork, goose and chicken. Fish, such as Catfish, Pike and Carp caught in Lake Balaton make for a lighter alternative . Vegetarians should not be put off. Fresh salads and Hungary’s unique twice cooked vegetable dishes will more than satisfy. To finish, heavy desserts such as pastries, strudel or sponge cake are the norm. Pálinka to end with – probably the best way to get the digestive system working!

Chill out in a Thermal Bath

Thermal hot springs abound across Hungary. For centuries people have been bathing in the waters to treat specific complaints. The thermal baths  such as Rudas (pictured below) , Kiraly in Budapest and part of the Turkish bath in Eger are centuries old. Spa and wine tourism go hand in hand and are popular with wine lovers who, after a hard day of winery visits, tastings and huge lunches want to unwind and relax before it’s time for more wine and food at dinner.

The 2018 and 10th edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference will take place in Budapest at the 5* Budapest Marriot Hotel on  the 10th and 11th April 2018. It’s the perfect setting to gain knowledge, improve business connections, network and discover Hungarian wines and Hungary as a grape escape destination.

 

IWINETC 2018 Early Bird Registration Open!

That’s right…you can now register to attend the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC 2018), the leading global event for the wine and culinary tourism industry, taking place from the 10th  – 11th April on the flanks of the Danube in Hungary’s capital city, Budapest.

Register here and benefit from the early bird rate.

We have so much to offer this year and there are some exciting new enhancements too… all to be revealed soon! As well as networking face-to-face with over 300 wine and culinary tourism professionals from across the world, the IWINETC conference programme will be bursting with inspiration and ideas to help you enhance your career and transform your business.

Call for Speakers

If you would like to submit a proposal for the International Wine Tourism Conference. This should include a title and short abstract (max. 250 words) outlining the main aspects of your presentation and its relevance to the field of wine and/or culinary tourism. Submit a talk proposal here

Invited Buyer applications are open

The tailored programmes offered to agents earlier this year in Sicily received high praise for their focus on buyer’s needs and encouraged quality appointments with exhibitors and Workshop participants. For 2018, these programmes will offer buyers even more flexibility on their attendance and key education and networking opportunities relevant to their role and business.

Find out more about attending as a Buyer>> 

Find out about attending the B2B Workshop as a Wine Tourism Experience Provider>>

Exhibit at IWINETC & Show your grape escape destination to the World

For IWINETC 2018 there will an exhibition area for conference delegates to discover grape escape destination and wines from around the world. Participating as an exhibitor will ensure you reach the 300+ delegates expected to attend as well as connecting with tour operators and travel agents from around the world. Exhibitor info here>>

As the team work hard to make next year’s IWINETC the best yet, make sure you keep up to date with the latest news and important information. Why not join our LinkedIn group, follow us on Twitter or like our Facebook page.

We hope to see you at IWINETC 2018 Hungary for another successful year.

Hungary to host 10th Anniversary of IWINETC

Budapest, Hungary will host the 10th Anniversary and 2018 edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference and Exhibition on the 10 & 11 April with the one day Wine Tourism Workshop to be held on the 12 April 2018. The event will be held in the 5* Budapest Marriort Hotel.

IWINETC first opened in 2009 and has been committed to delivering inspiring educational talks, vital business and networking opportunities for the wine and culinary tourism industry ever since

The 3 day event will be held in Budapest with several 3 day post conference tours heading to some of the wine regions of Hungary such as Tokaj, Upper Pannonia and Upper Hungary. The event is expected to attract around 400 wine and travel professionals from more than 50 different conutries.

The Hungarian Tourism Agency will be the Premium Sponsor and host event partner. Dr András Torok, Director of the Directorate of Gastronomy and Wine Marketing at the Hungarian Tourism Agency commented. We are honoured to have the chance to  welcome the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference in Hungary in 2018. We are persuaded that the capital, Budapest is a remarkably lively and fizzy point of the globe worth visiting not only for its amazing values, such as its thermal spas and unique cultural heritage, but also for its cool, inspiring atmosphere. We are prepared to host an event which will see a rebirth of IWINETC both in terms of the conference and the exciting accompanying programmes showing the best of the country.

IWINETC Director, Anthony Swift stated. The commitment, collaboration and passion shown by the Hungarian Tourism Agency and their partners to work with us to create and deliver a world-class experience in Budapest is in itself, world-class.  There is an incredibly positive ethos to ensure that we deliver the best and most memorable IWINETC experience for wine tourism professionals from around the world

To find out more about IWINETC 2018 Budapest, Hungary visit www.iwinetc.com