29th Budafok Wine Festival, Garamvári Winery, 1–2 September
September is the beginning of the new schoolyear, new courses, new seasons in the theatres – but not in Budafok! Budafok, a district of Budapest will host its annual Sparkling and Wine Festival on the very first weekend of September, on 1–2 September. Free admission, free concerts and open historic cellars will await visitors.
The „winetown” of the capital
Wien is proud of being the only capital in Europe which has a wine region within the boundaries of the city. It is true, and Grinzing, the Wien district of lovely, rustic wine bars is an amazing place, a must for visitors. However, Budapest is also a capital which has significant wine related places. The hills of Buda were once full of thriving vineyards, and Buda indeed used to be a wine region. Unfortunately the phylloxera destroyed most of the plantations, and now Etyek–Buda wine region vineyards are outside the capital. However, Budafok, a hilly, lovely district of Budapest preserves the cellars, and a significant part of the region’s wine production takes place here. You will find the largest and oldest sparkling wine manufacture, Törley here along with other wineries. During the festival, all the cellars will turn into festival stages, festival venues and invite visitors to enjoy the coolness of these underground wonders.
Cellars open their doors for this weekend
Garamvári Winery is the most important family owned sparkling winery in Hungary (and they make still wines as well on the south of Balaton). Their mystic underground labyrinth is not open for visitors, the only time of the year is the weekend of the festival, when visitors can participate in guided tours, of course illustrated with tasting. Hungarianwines.eu has recently organized the 1st Hungarian WebWineWriting competition, and the lucky winners participated in a 4 day study tour, which included a private visit to Garamvári cellar, thus we were the first to enjoy the unforgettable guided tour this year, a bit earlier than the festival goers. Miklós Gáspár, our guide explained all the careful steps of sparkling production, and certainly conducted a tasting for us.
Furmint Brut or Brut Nature?
During the tasting at Garamvári Winery we started with Garamvári Brut Nature, a sparkling wine which has just been awarded VinAgora Champion award (it means that this wine was selected to be the best of all gold winning sparkling wines of the international competition). The participants appreciated the wine a lot, and most of them admired the fact that it had been made without dosage. Later we tasted Furmint Brut, an important product of the winery, since Vencel Garamvári, the owner was the first to create bottle fermented sparkling wine of Hungarian flagship grape Furmint. The audience was fascinated. The last sparkling of ours was Optimum Brut– an optimal blend of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinot Blanc. Our guide, Miklós had a naughty smile when he asked about the preferences – he had known in advance, that though brut nature is trendy, and this Garamvári Brut Nature is a masterpiece itself, Furmint Brut will defeat all of us, and he was right. The firm, perfect structure, the richness of aromas, the length and the refreshing acidity makes Garamvári Furmint Brut an outstanding sparkling wine. Optimum Brut is indeed a well balanced, nice blend, but for our group of international professionals, Furmint Brut was the crown of the tasting.
Wine court, art street and other venues
The 29th Budafok Sparkling and Wine Festival will have a lot to offer besides wine: Magdolna street for example will turn into an „art street” with interactive pieces of art of contemporary artists. Apart from Etyek–Buda wine region wineries there will be several guestwineries like Zsirai Winery from Mád (Tokaj), Tóth Ferenc Winery from Eger, Sauska from Tokaj and Villány, Frittmann Winery from Kunság, Gere Tamás and Zsolt Winery from Villány.
When, where and for how much?
The festival is free admission, but a festival glass is obligatory to be bought. The festival is within Budapest, and there are several public transport possibilities, for example tram line No 47 from the centre of the city (Deák square). The festival will have a free festival busa s well withing the venues (mostly wineries) of the festival.
The above website is in Hungarian, if you need further information, contact us