Why should we call it Italian if it has nothing to do with Italy?

A revolt against traditions? Perhaps, or rather a revolt against traditions which do not make any good for us. Hungary’s most widely planted grape is called Olaszrizling, which literally means Italian Riesling – in spite of the fact that this grape variety has nothing to do with Italy, neither with Riesling. Some winemakers, especially members of the association ’Balaton Circle’ (Balatoni Kör’) are keen on changing the tradition and introduce a name that sounds unique, and its meaning is adequate regarding the grape variety.welschriesling_grape_cluster

They think its time for a change partially because Croatia has a distinctive name that is rather easy to remember: Graševina.

Out of more then 50 suggestions three names are still in contest: Oris, Nemes and Mandola.

  • The word Oris is made of the original compound Olaszrizling, but omits the non desired word meaning Italian.
  • Nemes means noble, and it is in fact already in use as a synonym of Olaszrizling in the form of Nemes Rizling. By omitting the word Rizling, the new name refers to a quality wine which is not for the masses.
  • Mandola is and archaic spelling of mandula, which means almond, and is a typical flavour of Olaszrizling.

At the moment the three candidate names are in front of UPOV, a Swiss board, which iss authorized to check the legacy of possible names. If more then one name is accepted by UPOV, the consumers will be invited to help to make a decision.

Do you agree with changing a well known, long time used name? Have you ever seen anything similar? Please, share your thoughts with us: info@hungarianwines.eu

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