Viniculture in Hungary has a tradition that has lasted over centuries. The oldest grape seeds were estimated to be 5,300 years old. So far, the oldest finding of seeds from the noble vine Vitis Vinifera are from the year 1,300 BC. The influence of the Greek on viniculture in the adjacent states is great, as the Greek developed new methods for wine-growing and cellar techniques and shared their knowledge with other peoples.
During the time when the country belonged to the Roman Province Pannonia, many Romans laid out vineyards. In 1,000 AD the Hungarian kingdom was established, and the christianization started. The need in altar wine revived wine-growing enormously.
As a land-locked country Hungary has a dry continental climate with warm summers and cold winters. The most precipitation takes place in early summer. The amount of precipitation decreases from west to east which is ideal for growing aromatic white grapes. However, also red grapes like Cabernet Sauvignon ripen well. Noticeable differences in temperature between day and night as well as fresh winds help the grapes to reduce dryness and stress caused by heat. These climatic conditions and the soil compositions are the reason for the uniqueness of Hungarian wines.
The cultivation area comprises about 110,000 hectares, which makes it almost as big as Germany’s. Numerous well known wines that can compete with the best of the world originate in Hungary’s vineyards.