Eger wine region is located in the North-East of Hungary, at the foot of the Bükk Mountains. It is an area of unique possibilities, where the cultivation of both red and white grapes has been widespread.

The climate of this wine region is rather cool, and it is duly represented in the wines’ character, namely in their exciting acidity, rich aromas, not overpoweringly present tannins and their elegance.
None of these would be realized if Eger did not have a soil so fundamentally rich in character. It is complex and varied.
Here the lower layer rhyolite tuff of volcanic origin dominates, and is covered by hard, deep brown soil rich in clay. Moreover, composition of the soil in the slopes and vineyards is breathtakingly colourful and unique, where lime, slate, zeolite, marl and sandstone, or a combination of these can be found, giving the wine a strong character.

The composition of the soil plays a vast role in creating a fine aroma and determines the structure of the wine. Accordingly, slopes with different compositions of soil make it possible to produce different, uniquely characteristic wines.

For example, wine produced on thinner soil of volcanic origin will be richer in minerals, will have a more determined structure and will be more rustic, while those produced on thick, clay-rich soil tend to be fuller-bodied. Varied and wonderful! Not only the wines but also the landscape of the region.

Nagy-Eged-hegy, the highest grape-producing hill of Hungary can be found here. With its height of 501 metres, uniquely lime-rich soil and south-facing exposure, it is predestined to be a birthplace of great wines. Right next to it, on the side of Kis-Eged-Mount, a 30-million-year-old grape leaf fossil, the “Vitis Hungarica” was found.

The history of the wine region

Eger wine region’s great opportunities lie in its capability of producing both high quality red and white wines. Producing white wines was dominant for several centuries. However, Eger became internationally recognized for its red wine: Egri Bikavér. Grape has been cultivated in the Eger area since the time of the Árpád dynasty, and, similarly to other wine regions in the country, the role of foreign, primarily French monks and the church proved to be crucial. Until Turkish times only white grapes had been grown. The first red vines like Kadarka and the technique of maceration were introduced by the Rascians who were fleeing the Ottomans. Phylloxera appeared and eradicated nearly all vineyards in Eger in 1886. Most red grapes were introduced to the wine region during the regeneration after the disaster.
Eger wines had, as it were, an acidity and long shelf life which required ageing in wooden barrels.

Therefore, winemakers aged their wine in oak barrels placed in cellars providing natural cellar climate and carved in rhyolite tuff under the settlements.
During the socialist era grape growing was centrally controlled in Hungary. In the decades preceding the change of regime Eger as well as all Hungarian winemaking was about mass-production and making huge quantities of table quality wines. Interestingly enough, most people can only recall Egri Bikavér as a red wine from that period, and it had undoubtedly become the most well-known Hungarian red wine of the time. Nevertheless, since the 1990’s wineries producing more consciously have started to work on remarketing Eger wines, having a new drive and aiming for higher quality. By now Eger has become the most exciting and most colourful representative of the renewal of Hungarian wines.

Using many varieties of grape has always been a characteristic of this wine region and, therefore, the region has grown itself into the home of blended wines.
The guidelines of the production of Egri Bikavér were created by the Society of Grape and Wine Growers of Eger in 1993. Later the system of communes was formed again, and in 1997 the 13 communes of Eger accepted the Egri Bikavér guidelines. A new blended white wine began its history in 2010 as a new commune brand: Egri Csillag.
In 2013 a new strategy for the Eger wine region was accepted. Now it is clear that, besides the evident directions, it depends on us, winemakers, whether we will be able to make worthy wines using the right amount of responsibility, conscience and sacrifice for ourselves and for the future of Hungarian and Eger wine.

Climatic conditions

The climatic condition of the Eger wine region is mainly affected by its proximity of the Bükk Mountains. This provides the main source of protection against winter frost, and it also creates a “mountain breeze” bringing a cold night after a warm summer or autumn day, thus this climate ensures a fine, elegant sharpness and the presence of fruity aromas. All in all, we can say that Eger wines contain an exciting amount of acidity and long-lingering pleasant flavour.

Annual rainfall: 550-600 mm
Annual average temperature: 10.5 °C
Annual hours of sunshine: 1900-2000 hours

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