Pannonhalma wine region, a hidden gem
The mystery story written by Umberto Eco is not situated in the abbey of Pannonhalma, the scenery of the world famous book is a Benedictine monastery in Northern Italy, however, this Hungarian Benedictine abbey has a very similar atmosphere to that depicted in Eco’s novel. The UNESCO World Heritage abbey – in fact an archabbey – has endless corridors, stone walls telling you about the history of the past centuries, and monks walking away silently. Besides this romantic aspect, the abbey and the wine region is worth visiting all year, and this weekend especially, since all the wineries of the wine region await visitors with open cellar doors and special offers. St. Martin is believed to be born at the feet of the hill of Pannonhalma, so St Martin Day – and the weekend around it – has a special importance here.
From cellar to cellar by bus
This weekend the second smallest wine region of Hungary makes it easier to explore. Friday is a kind of warming up day and Sunday is a day „after”, but Saturday will be a heavy day for those who decide to participate. You can join these bus tours for a symbolic price (2000 HUF = 6,4 euros), and you can buy tastings at the „bus stops” which happen to be wineries of the region. Babarczi Winery for example offers wine tasting of 4 or 6 wines, accompanied by slices of bread spread by goose liver pate. If you are there, do not miss their brilliant Irsai Olivér and Chardonnay. If you prefer going individually, by car, you are welcome as well, the timetable of the tastings is here (in Hungarian, if you need help, please write to us).
Archabbey for connoisseurs
The Archabbey of Pannonhalma awaits visitors well, first of all because it has its own winery producing great wines – their Rhine Rieslings are magnificent, the white blend called Hemina is an enjoyable, lovely wine for every occassion, and their red top wine, Infusio is an unforgettable one. Apart from the cellar, the abbey ha a botanic garden with a lot to see. The season of levander harvest is a top attraction, their Benedictine liquors are top quality, the frequently organized organ and jazz events attract hundreds of vititor, and on top of all the abbey has its own gourmet restaurant called Viator. For St Martin weekend Viator chef created a seasonal menu around goose and truffle, and their regular degustation menu is also worth a visit.