Hungarian Wine: Hope, Dreams, Heritage and Progress

2016. május 5. 15:12

Alder Yarrow
Vinopgraphy

So much quality already exists, and so much more potential lies in wait, it's just a damn shame that the country can't get its sh*t together to better promote its wines.

Very good (yet still frustrating) reasons exist for this state of affairs, but it still boggles the mind that, for instance, as one of the world's oldest and most prestigious wine regions, Tokaj doesn't have a regional marketing body that is the equivalent of the Napa Valley Vintners association or the Bureau Interprofessionnel des Vins de Bourgogne.

One of the key factors in play in Hungary simply comes down to money. Tokaji wines simply don't sell enough, or for high enough prices, for the producers to have enough money to pay dues to an organization that could help promote their wares. Of course, in other European countries, the government kicks in a lot of money to such organizations, but Hungary seems maddeningly unwilling to do so, preferring instead to build new wineries for its state-run operations, and pay London-based PR firms to do studies proving what everyone already knows, namely that the Tokaj brand has low recognition around the world.

Listening to the travails of vintners who so clearly hunger for (and deserve) the kind of representation that might expose more consumers to the country's unique wines frankly made me angry. Promoting the country's fine wines around the world could have a dramatic economic impact in both the short and long term for the country as a whole, both in terms of raising exports, but also in the form of tourism dollars. So much quality already exists, and so much more potential lies in wait, it's just a damn shame that the country can't get its sh*t together to better promote its wines.

So I guess I'll be doing my part. Stay tuned in the coming weeks for reviews from my visit. And in the meantime, drink some Furmint or Juhfark!”

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