Legend has it that in the 16th century István Dobó fortified his badly outnumbered soldiers (fewer than 2,000 versus 20,000) with red wine while they successfully defended Eger against the Turkish siege. When the Ottomans saw the red-stained beards, rumors circulated that the Hungarians were drinking bull's blood to attain their strength. Thus, the name of the region's most famous red wine, Egri Bikavér (Bull's Blood of Eger), came to be.

Szépasszony-völgy, with many cellars, has been connected with the fame of Eger wines for centuries. The name of the valley is lost in time, but some people believe that "Szépasszony" (beautiful woman) was a goddess of a pre-historic religion, similar to Venus (the goddess of love). Sacrifices were offered to her at this location. Farmers speak of a famously beautiful woman who used to sell Eger wine in one of the cellars. According to others, the valley was named after one of the beautiful ladies of a noble villa. The origin of the name, as well as the time the first cellars were initially constructed, is lost in history.

The gem of Szépasszony-völgy are the hundreds-year-old cellars that have been carved into the several hundred-meter thick rolite tufa. This material can be formed perfectly, and can permanently maintain wine at a temperature of 10-15°C (50-59°F). Varying amounts of mosses and noble mold found in the cellars give each cellar a unique atmosphere, and help the mellowing of the wine and the formation of its fragrance. The amazing construction of the cellars, and the delicious wines contained within them, don't seem to suffer greatly for it.

Visitors can purchase wine directly out of the casks and many varieties sell for between 300–600 Hungarian forints per litre.

We can arrange tailored wine tasting tours or offer guests help and advice in order to plan their own wine tasting tour, whether it be just a visit to local wine cellars or a tour of award winning wine producers' production facilities with a meal included, just ask and we can make it happen.


 

 

I hope this may be of help to non wine buffs visiting Eger and wanting to try some of this region's wines. Below is a list of some of the locally produced wines:

Egri Olaszrizling: full bodied white wine, a harmonic blend of unique mignonette bouquet and almond flavour.

Egri Leányka: A fine, somewhat delicate fiery white wine with grape flower bouquet.

Egri Muskotály: gentle, refreshing white wine, retaining the intense aroma of the grape varietal.

Egri Chardonnay: elegant and has a fine, spicy aroma, a blend of fruitiness and barrique ageing.

Egri Kékfrankos: a deep, ruby red wine, blending ripe tannin and fruity aromas, most of all cherry in its flavour and bouquet. The flavour is dominated by fruitiness, rounded acidity and smooth tannin effect. Egri Kékfrankos is the most important component of Egri Bikavér.

Egri Cabarnet Sauvignon: This varietal makes a special wine of deep, dark red colour and a velvety tannic aroma. Excellent for barrique ageing. Grapes from good harvests should be aged for 5-6 years to yiels a full-fledged aroma. The bouquet and flavour is most often that of blackcurrant.

Egri Bikavér: a registered wine mark, is a blend of at least 3 wines from different grape varieties. This deep ruby red, long, rich, elegant and exciting red wine of ripe bouquet and sometimes mysterious flavour is less dominated by tannic acids- similar to other wines of the Eger region. Long barrique ageing makes Egri Bikavér a rich, fiery wine.

 

A guide to Eger wines and some of the producers can be found here : http://www.egriborut.hu/

 

 

 

Please check back soon for more information as the site is updated.