Balaton wine region
South Balaton wine region
The region, now the 5th biggest wine region in Hungary was known for its horticulture already in Roman times. When the Hungarian state was young, in the early Middle Ages, kings granted substantial tracts of arable lands and vineyards to the Church, determining the fate of the region for the next 500 years. Legend has it that the monks were using highly developed horticultural technologies, including wine making, hence the arm holding a bunch of grapes in the crest of Somogy county. Turkish occupation halted the wine production for about 150 years, so did the phylloxera epidemic in the 19th century. But the region recovered, and in the past 50 years it regained its fame for its vineyards. Today more than 4000 producers are active in the region; there are vineyards as far as the eye can see on the gently rolling hills around Balatonboglar. Warm summers and mild, snowy winters create ideal growing conditions for the local vineyards along the south shore of Lake Balaton. Its loess soil is a perfect environment for light, harmonic white wines, fruity, rich Burgundy type red wines and sparkling wines, which are widespread in the area
One of the oldest and most well-known wine regions is located on the northern lakeside of Balaton, spreading on 1900 acres from Révfülöp to Szigliget, in the Tapolca Basin. In front of the remaining cold cones of the volcanos once in action, the region encompasses the lakeside settlements and the vineyards cultivated in the soil of basalt hills, reaching up to the woods on the southern inclines. Due to its favorable position, about 45% of the area is planted with vine, making it considerably denser than the Hungarian average.