Electric Etyek: So Much More than Just Close to the Capital 

The charming, sleepy town of Etyek, which lies just some 30km west of the capital, is not only a winemaking town, but also a filmmaking one. It isn’t a winery that you’re likely to spot first coming up in the distance as you approach from Budapest, but rather the gigantic Sándor Korda Film Park. With its remarkably convincing paper mache film sets depicting the medieval Italy of the Borgias, among other locations, and its enormous indoor studios in which part of Bladerunner 2049 was shot, ‘Etyekwood’ may seem an odd place to introduce a wine region. However, it is from there that you can see a cross-section of the white calcareous soil that dominates the Etyek-Buda regions and its wines and get a feel of the rolling countryside.

Another key vantage point, where several of the leading wineries are located, is Öreghegy. While up here, look out for the tall communal press, located next to the Báthori dűlő (vineyard), which is named after Tibor Báthori, who was voted only the second Winemaker of the Year by the Hungarian Wine Academy, back in 1992. A memorial plaque to him on the vineyard itself notes that ‘he channelled the birdsong into wine’.

There’s usually a strong breeze blowing in Etyek and add on the white calcareous soil, which is mixed with loess and chernozem, then the conditions are ripe for making vibrant (mainly white) wines with tongue tingling, almost electric acidity and fresh aromas. It comes as no surprise that the Etyek-Buda region has a strong sparkling wine tradition. Törley makes a huge amount of sparkling wine from Etyek-Buda, while smaller producers are gradually adding sparklers to their range, some of which are made in the traditional method.

When it comes to the still stuff, Etyek has long been associated with Sauvignon Blanc, even though Chardonnay appears to be beginning to eclipse its fellow French varietal as the flagship grape with some taut and focussed expressions of the French grape. Nevertheless, it would be great to see more of the Austrian Grüner Veltliner grape (Zöldveltelini in Hungarian), not only because it can almost be considered local but also due to the varietally pure citrusy and peppery notes, as well as the balance between freshness and intensity that can come through here. In the red corner, it is Pinot Noir that thrives in Etyek’s terroir and Etyeki Kúria’s is one of the best, if not the best examples of the grape in Hungary.

Swabian German settlers started winemaking in Etyek, or Edeck to give it its Germanic name which still is still signposted next to its Hungarian equivalent as you enter the town, but the German population was expelled in the wake of World War II. Their legacy is still there to see with some fine old presses dotted around, and old stone cellar rows such as Kecskegödör and the circular Körpince.

Etyek will be one of the excursions of the that will be part of the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest.

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.

Zsombor Gál to Open IWINETC 2018 – Hungary as a Grape Escape Destination

Zsombor Gál, economist, is the leading expert of wine marketing at the Hungarian Tourism Agency and he will be opening the 10th anniversary of the International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop (IWINETC) in the Budapest Marriott Ballroom at 09.30 on Tuesday 10th April 2018 with a plenary talk on Hungary as a Grape Escape Destination.

Outstanding wines, stunning vineyard views, delicious culinary delights and steaming thermal natural spas are Hungary’s major attractions for food and wine lovers. But there’s more…stunning architecture, vital folk art and Europe’s most exciting capital both during the day and after dark.

The IWINETC Conference talk programme stretches across two days (10 & 11 April) 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.

In addition, an exhibition area involving around 25 wine tourism destinations and trade providers and a one day B2B Workshop is a one-stop shop to discover the latest in wine tourism not only in Hungary but also from around the world. And.. delegates can discover Hungary as a grape escape destination for themselves thanks to the numerous evening and pre and post conference tours

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.

IWINETC 2018 works closely with the Premium Sponsor, The Hungarian Tourism Agency,

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

 

Lake Balaton: a Sea Within a Sea of Hungarian Wine

Lake Balaton, Central Europe’s largest lake, offers much to the curious wine traveller with its stunning panoramas, lively lakeside action in summer, ever-improving gastronomy scene, as well as exciting and remarkably varied white, red, rosé, and even a few sweet wines, coming from some top terroir.

The huge body of water of Lake Balaton, which is 77 kilometres long stretching from east to west with a width of 14 kilometres at it’s widest point, exerts a moderating influence and also reflects sun back onto the vines to ensure full ripening, although some grapes can catch a few too many rays! Balaton has four wine regions (Balatonfüred-Csopak, Balatonfelvidék, Badacsony on the northern side and Balatonboglár on the southern side) that brush it shores and another two (Somló and Zala) that can be considered part of its environs.

The hillier northern side produces predominantly white wine, including some of the finest examples of Olaszrizling in Hungary. These wines, which typically have impressive and refreshing acidity that helps to flesh out the flavours and build complexity, can be found in the mixed (marl, limestone) soils of Balatonfüred-Csopak and the black basalt-based volcanic soils of Badacsony and the Káli Basin, the latter where some limestone mixes with the basalt. Although Riesling is entirely unrelated to Olaszrizling, Badacsony is probably the national epicentre of the German-Alsation grape. This stunningly beautiful region with its sawn off volcanic mesas that were formed as the basalt stood firm and the non-volcanic land around it eroded is also home to the indigenous Kéknyelű grape. This sharply acidic grape makes unique white wine that can be neutral when young but needs time for its true, rich character to be unveiled, and has to be pollinated by the Budai Zöld grape, which itself occasionally produces delightfully airy and floral wines. Rózsakő, a crossing of the two grapes, is now also producing exciting white wines  of its own.

Round and fruity whites and big, bold Bordeaux style blends ooze forth from the loess-based soils of the vineyards of the Balatonboglár region on the southern side of the lake which are a touch warmer than the north, while riper single varietal Cabernet Franc, indigenous Kékfrankos and Pinot Noir is also to be found. While the southern side is much flatter than its northern counterpart, the vineyards of the south are nicely undulating with excellent exposure to the sun. Furthermore, the views of the northern side from the south are breathtaking. Red wine is by no means confined to Balatonboglár, with the likes of Pinot Noir and Syrah, as well as the odd Kékfrankos can be very classy indeed as some recent releases are proving.

Lake Balaton will be one of the excursions of the that will be part of the 10th International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC), which will be held April 10-11 in Budapest.

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: Hungarian Tourism Agency

Elizabeth Gabay MW to Chair Wine Festivals of Hungary Discussion at IWINETC

We are delighted to announce Elizabeth Gabay, Master of Wine and author of ‘Rosé: Understanding the Pink Wine Revolution’ as the latest headliner for the International Wine Tourism Conference (IWINETC) 10 & 11 April 2018.

Elizabeth will be chairing a panel discussion on the wine festivals of Hungary with panel members Pál Rókusfalvy, winemaker, marketeer and organiser of many gastronomic festivals in Etyek and Florian Zaruba, on lake Balaton with an event and concert venue, a restaurant, cinema and hotel at his winery.

The panel discussion will look at how Hungarian Wine Festivals have evolved and what elements have proved to be successful. The discussion will cover the various aspects of festival organisation including the logistics (travel, access, costs, venue suitability, audience reach, time of year…). What type of festival is successful (arts, gastronomic, history, cultural, education…)? How can festivals be planned to benefit both the vineyard and region (walks between vineyards, several vineyards hosting joint festivals?)

An important part of the discussion will be considering what comes next in the development of this form of marketing. How can festivals retain their attraction with an increasing amount of competition? Conference delegates will be able to apply conclusions and ideas to their own country and regional wine fairs.

View the Conference Sessions here!

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.

Discover all about the Global Wine & Culinary Tourism Industry in Budapest

It’s now just 3 months until the 10th annual edition of the International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IWINETC) opens its doors.

This year Hungary is hosting the 2 day conference of around 25 cutting edge talks covering topics key to enhancing business and professional development in the growing niche wine and culinary tourism industry.

You won’t want to miss out on discovering grape escape destinations and wines at the exhibition area including Armenia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Spain and of course hosts Hungary.

There’s also a 1-day Wine Tourism B2B Workshop where trade providers and agents use the event as an opportunity to do business.

Networking is an essential and crucial part of IWINETC. There are a number of varied functions in both Budapest and in nearby wine regions such as Etyek or Eger, providing the perfect opportunity to make connections with new contacts, strengthen existing relationships and meet with friends and colleagues in a relaxed atmosphere.

Follow the link below to find out what else IWINETC Hungary 2018 can offer and register in advance to discover the latest in wine tourism.

Ronn Wiegand MW to lead IWINETC Wines of Hungary Grand Tasting

We’re thrilled to announce Ronn Wiegand, Master of Wine & Master Sommelier will be teaming up with Agnes Herczeg to lead the IWINETC Wines of Hungary Grand Tasting, part of the 2 day conference programme of talks.

Ronn will present 8 different wines to show the diversity of Hungarian viticulture and some of the best of the country’s reds and whites, dry and dessert wines and Agnes will will give a brief overview of the presented regions, including their tourism potentials and must-see sites. A unique double act not to be missed on Tuesday 10 April.

Conference delegates should expect a colourful, entertaining journey to eight Hungarian wine regions through 8 different wines. Delegates will discover some of hidden treasures of Hungary: its unique wines and its compelling grape escape destinations.

Don’t know your Hungarian Wine Regions? Then start to swat up and read some of the articles written for especially for IWINETC by Robert Smyth:

Eger: a Heady Blend of Bikavér & Baroque Beauty>>
Somló: a small but very beautiful Hungarian wine region>>
Sexy Kadarka, Kékfrankos and Bikavér trio served up by Szekszárd>>
Villány: a very welcoming wine tourism destination>>

 

 

 

Sessions & Speakers Announced for IWINETC 2018

The International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition and Workshop (IWINETC) each year is one of the main events in the Wine and Culinary Tourism industry calendar. Attended by approximately 300 wine tourism professionals from more than 50 countries, it involves a 2-day programme of around 30 talks, workshops and symposiums as well as a vibrant social programme. This offers delegates a unique opportunity to meet leading theorists and well travelled experts, and exchange ideas with fellow professionals from all sectors of wine tourism.

View the Conference Sessions

In addition, an exhibition area involving around 20 wine tourism related exhibitors is a one-stop shop to discover grape escape destinations and taste wines from diverse wine regions such as Armenia, Greece, Italy, Serbia, Spain and of course, hosts Hungary. Plus, the IWINETC 1-day Wine Tourism Workshop continues to grow in popularity with more and more trade providers and agents using the Workshop as an opportunity to do business.

Register to attend IWINETC here!

From 1 – 31 January 2018 delegates can benefit from a 50 Euro discount on the current ticket price. Only 50 discounted tickets available. Interested attendees should request a discount code at [email protected]  before purchasing their conference ticket.

Get Acquainted with Vigadó – Venue for IWINETC B2B Workshop

Located on the Danube embankment in the heart of the capital city of Hungary, with its imposing building and magnificence, the newly-opened Vigadó Concert Hall is a real eye-catcher among Budapest based event venues. Built in 1865 and designed by Frigyes Feszl, Vigadó used to house decisive cultural and social events of its age.

In 1867 Emperor Franz Joseph attended the banquet hosted by the Vigadó in honour of his coronation, and it was also here that Budapest was born by the merger of the old cities of Pest, Buda and Óbuda (old Buda).

The Vigadó also developed a rich concert life. Ferenc Liszt was soon to return to its concert hall, when he was invited to conduct his oratorio, The Legend of Saint Elisabeth on the occasion of the 25th anniversary of the Pest-Buda Conservatory. The five-hundred-strong choir came together from various Pest and rural choral societies. The Vigadó hosted the first all-Liszt concert in Hungary in 1869, and it was here that he conducted the premier of the orchestral versions of Mihály Vörösmarty’s great poem “Appeal” and the Hungarian National Anthem, Ferenc Kölcsey’s “Hymn”. At the Vigadó celebration of his half-century artistic career, Liszt was presented with a gold laurel wreath and a number of foreign awards, including honorary membership of the St. Petersburg Academy of Music. In 1875 Liszt and Wagner co-organized a concert to raise funds for the construction of the Bayreuth Theatre (Festspielhaus).

The ceremonious opening of the refurbished building with its newly constructed interior spaces was held by Hungary’s public body of arts, the Hungarian Academy of Arts on 14 March 2014. The newly opened Vigadó nowadays houses temporary exhibitions as well as musical and theatrical programmes and on Thursday 12 April 2018 it will be the venue for the International Wine Tourism B2B Workshop where buyers specialised in wine and culinary tourism will meet wine tourism experience providers from not only Hungary but also from grape escape destinations from around the world such as Armenia, Bulgaria, Czech Republic, Greece, Italy, Moldova, Portugal, Spain and Uruguay.

The IWINETC talk Programme stretches across the two-day day-long event 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.

Register for IWINETC 2018 Hungary here>> 

Robin Shaw confirmed as fourth headliner for IWINETC 2018

We’re delighted to announce and welcome back the dynamic and entertaining presenter, Robin Shaw from down under as our fourth confirmed keynote speaker at the International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop (IWINETC) 10 – 11 April 2018.

Robin is passionate about all things wine and tourism and is widely regarded as Australia’s leading wine tourism development specialist.  Her experience extends across sales, marketing, business development and operational roles with companies such as Pernod Ricard, South Australian Tourism and Winemakers’ Federation of Australia.  Awarded a prestigious Winston Churchill Fellowship in 2004 to study wine tourism innovation, Robin used the information gained to develop a series of workshops and resources which she has successfully delivered in Australia, South Africa and Chile.  Robin’s company, Wine Tourism Australia, works with wineries, tourism operators and regions to maximise their destination appeal and deliver memorable visitor experiences.  She also hosts wine tourism study tours for industry professionals to locations in South Africa and Australia that epitomise best practice and service excellence and develops leisure packages to some of the world’s best wine regions.

Robin, back by popular demand is one of 6 keynote speakers and will be delivering two talks within the packed conference talk programme as follows:

Don’t go West, go Direct! – keynote

  • Direct to consumer (DTC) is the new catchcry in the wine industry. Fuelled by low margins offered by retailers and distributors, wineries increasingly rely on direct sales to generate full-tote revenue.  This means converting cellar door visitors to wine club members, developing long term relationships and maximising lifetime value.  Discover how to implement a successful DTC strategy by mapping the customer journey and activating touchpoints to generate sales.  While primarily using wine industry case studies, the principles presented apply just as well to tour operators, travel agents and others in the tourism supply chain.

Take your Kids to Wine Country – Workshop

  • Families that play together, stay together, and many modern parents are reluctant to change their imbibing and travel habits once the nippers arrive.  Savvy wineries and wine regions have realised that the family market is good for business – both now and in the future – and created innovative products and experiences to cater for this growing market (which can also include the grandparents). Explore the family-friendly trails that traverse wine country and be inspired to create your own innovative experiences, or extend your client base and put together packages that appeal to this lucrative market.

The IWINETC talk Programme stretches across the two-day day-long event 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.

Register for IWINETC 2018 Hungary here>> 

Judith Lewis, CEO of deCabbit Consultancy is confirmed as third headliner for IWINETC 2018

We’re jubilent to announce and welcome back Judith Lewis, founder of the deCabbit Consultancy specialising in integrated digital marketing consultancy and execution as our third confirmed keynote speaker at the International Wine Tourism Conference, Exhibition & Workshop (IWINETC) 10 – 11 April 2018.

Judith is a specialist integrated online marketer with skills in SEO, PPC, and Social Media Marketing as well as other digital marketing techniques. She has been doing SEO since before it had a name and has worked both in-house and agency-side.

She has judged both UK & EU Search Awards, is a founding everywoman Modern Muse and is the coordinator for London Girl Geek Dinners.  Having both an in-house and agency background, her clients have included Google, Virgin, NSPCC, Zopa, Slendertone, the Guggenheim, SAP, Amadeus, Blue Cross, & ShareThis.

Judith writes for the SEO Chicks and Mostly About Chocolate as well as the Huffington Post.  She speaks at various conferences around the world and is passionate about teaching and helping businesses large and small (as well as chocolate)

Judith, back by popular demand is one of 6 keynote speakers and will be delivering two talks within the packed conference talk programme as follows:

Getting Seriously Social – How social network platforms can be used for customer acquisition and retention. Case studies and take away ideas from around the globe. While the case studies are not specifically travel-oriented, these best-of-breed studies and examples will be woven with examples of how to adapt the techniques for your wine tourism business. Specific attention will be given to how to implement these ideas economically as well as how to run an effective Facebook campaign.

Integrate or Die – Your optimal digital communication mix for a campaign to improve customer acquisition and retention. At every stage of the pre- and post- purchase journey, people touch multiple digital touch points even when not consciously looking for a wine tasting tour holiday. In this session we will walk through the stages and touch points you can utilise to both acquire and retain wine lovers through integrated digital channels.

The IWINETC talk Programme stretches across the two-day day-long event 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.

Register for IWINETC 2018 Hungary here>>