Our Budapest Food & Wine Guide
Taste Hungary notebook
Water and light snacks for the ride
Duration: Full day
Travel time: approximately 1.5 hours from Budapest
Hotel pick-up: approx. 9am
Most dietary restrictions can be accommodated
Hotel drop-off: approx. 7pm
Explore The Vinous Wonders Eger
Eger is Hungary’s northernmost red-wine-producing region, best known for its flagship Egri Bikavér (“Bull’s Blood”) blend. Winemakers here take this traditional blend seriously. It has improved tremendously and has little in common with those past Bikavér’s which were exported to the West during the Communist-era of mass-produced wine.
On this tour you’ll taste different versions of Bikavér, as well as Eger’s newer white blend, called Egri Csillag. You’ll also taste many of the single varietal wines that make up Bikavér, such as Kékfrankos, Pinot Noir, Portugieser, Merlot, and Kadarka. Though better known for its reds, Eger also produces nice whites with high minerality, including local varietals like Leányka, Királyleányka, Olaszrizling, and Tramini.
Sections of the extensive labyrinth of wine cellars underneath the town—which is hundreds of kilometers in length—are still being discovered, and being restored. Many of Eger’s best wineries are located in villages outside of town, which we will visit, but the town of Eger itself has played an important role in Hungary’s history. In a 1552 battle Eger’s residents fought the advancing Ottomans and managed to keep them out.
According to the legend, this is where the name Bull’s Blood originated. Supposedly, the soldiers were given red wine to help them fight, and the Turks mistook the wine for the blood of bulls. When the Turks returned in 1596, however, they occupied the town until 1687. Some architectural remnants of the Ottoman occupation, such as the minaret, still stand.
About Our Wine Tours
Hungary’s emerging wine regions are being increasingly recognized internationally … but you still won’t find many of the country’s most interesting wines outside of the borders! Join us to experience Hungarian wine country and we’ll take you to some stunningly beautiful places, taste some truly unique wines, and meet some talented winemakers. The wineries you visit will be a mix of the traditional, the experimental, and the modern. We’ll visit the production areas, wander in the vineyards, and tour the ageing cellars (ranging from 500-year-old ancient hand-carved ones to the ultra-modern). Often you’ll meet the winemakers themselves. Your guide will tell you the story of Hungarian wine so you can put it in context with the greater world of wine. The tour includes a platter of local cheese or charcuterie with one of the tastings and a slow lunch—either homemade at a winery or at a winery-owned restaurant—where you’ll see how the regional food matches with the wine. By the end of the tour, we hope your thirst for Hungarian wine will have grown and you continue to seek it out!