- 24 Sep 2021 2:56 PM
In 1991, Hungary's iconic wine festival opened its doors to the public on Vörösmarty square, in front of only a few hundred curious local visitors.
At first, conditions were modest, a few winemakers trying to find their place, exchanging shy smiles with the wine-consuming public just beginning to discover the renascent wine culture.
As the years passed, the demand for quality and knowledge grew: we began to pay attention to how we hold our wine glass; when, with what food and at what temperature do we open each wine; and how to pronounce those darn French expressions correctly.
At Hungary's greatest wine fest, guests have learned from local winemakers refined taste, courage, trend, and respect for tradition. They watched guests faces as they poured a new item asking for our opinions so that they could delight guests with even better, more excellent wines year after year.
As we have changed with the wines, over the past thirty years the modest conditions have been replaced by lavish surroundings, the shy smiles by endless fun, and the carefully forming relationships by deep friendships.
The regulars know what it means to drink wine, talk, and enjoy each other's company in beautiful castle district, either while chasing shade in the Indian summer heat or snuggled up against the side of a stand in the stinging autumn rain.
Special guest this year is Somló
The "Somló-ness" is an unmistakable flavour that only wines from our smallest wine region can offer.
The guest of this year's Wine Festival is Somló, a volcanic, mineral, flinty area not far from Lake Balaton, yet with a completely different character. For those who want to immerse themselves in the unmistakable wines of this unique terroir, you can now choose from the best wines of 12 wineries from Somló at the Somló collaboration stand.
A visit to the Wine Festival is a professional experience, since each stand offers complete wine tasting, guided by an expert, first-hand. Still, the Wine Festival is preparing some extra programmes.
Special place to taste outstanding delights from smaller wineries
Each day, at the VinAgora Talents House a smaller winery will be showcased that does not have its own stand at the event but has achieved outstanding results in the VinAgora International Wine Competition.
Taste wines making their debut
Via the Wine Festival Premier programme guests are introduced to wines that are making their debut on the market.
The list and location of the products included in the programme can be found in advance on the festival’s website or in the exhibitor catalogue that you will receive on entry.
Culinary delights await too
Just as wine is an essential part of gastronomy, no Wine Festival is complete without a variety of culinary delights.
For years, the event has been offering a diverse, ever-changing but high-quality selection that combines traditional festival cuisine with modern street food and gourmet specialities to satisfy a wide variety of tastes.
Enjoy music while you taste fine wines
Great artists and performers are preparing for this year's Wine Festival to entertain the audience on two stages. Each day will feature a different style of music, making this year's Wine Festival an unforgettable experience.
The first day will feature, among others, the Burján Orsi Quintet and the Jónás Vera Experiment, while the MVM stage will host the Helka Banda and O'Sullivan. The highlight of the evening will be a concert by the Csík Band, who as returning performers will be bringing two guests with them.
With the help of LGT guitarist János Karácsony "James", the evening will feature a number of legendary LGT hits, as well as the “Csík style” version of the incredible song, “vidéki sanzon” (country chanson) performed by Misi Mező.
On Friday, Ötödik évszak and the Cimbaliband will perform on the Festival Stage, while at the other venue, the Pengetős trió, Nosnach and Szeder will set the mood for drinking wine. The evening's headliner will be Szabó Balázs Bandája.
On Saturday, a special series of concerts will mark the Hungarian Jazz Day. The Ocsovay Damján Trio, Demeter/Zsoldos Quintet, Borbély Balkan Jazz Projekt, the Modern Art Orchestra, and finally, to close the day, the Balázs Elemér Group will perform on the Festival Stage.
The MVM stage will feature Adrienne Bangó - János Egri duo and the winner band of the Hungarian Jazz Federation's Combo competition.
On Sunday, the focus will be once again on folk music, with performances by the Sarjú Banda, Melinda Balogh, Poklade, Dalinda, Mihály Borbély - Batyu duo and the Babra.
On the Pódium stage on Thursday, Friday and Saturday evenings, Jazzy Radio's disc jockeys, László Jazzkovács and Andrew J will offer jazzy-funky-soul music for a worthy closing of the day.
Charity Wine Auction
The Budapest Wine Festival together with Hungarian winemakers has been raising money in the framework of the Charity Wine Auction for the various aims of the Hungarian Charity Service of the Order of Malta for 21 years now.
Winemakers have always selflessly offered their most special items, and every year the bidding guests have competed with humility and in good spirits for the items offered. This year's goal is to buy a brand-new ambulance.
The Ambulance Service of the Charity Service works mainly on weekends and public holidays to relieve the workload of the National Ambulance Service. In a unique way, the Maltese Ambulance Service has a staff of 120 doctors, nurses, drivers, and they are all volunteers.
Engineers, lawyers, accountants, vets, priests, and airline pilots also serve as paramedics on the Maltese Ambulance Service's ambulance. They don’t expect to be praised for their work, and don’t accept any benefits.
The Maltese volunteer paramedics believe that their reward is a life saved! The Maltese Ambulance Service's ambulance is alerted by the OMSZ (National Ambulance Service) with the call signal M28; since its foundation, the unit's cars are the most highly equipped ambulances and are sent by the rescue control centre to the most serious cases.
The aim of this year's Charity Wine Auction is to support the purchase of a new ambulance for the Maltese Ambulance Service.
Ticket fee includes tasing glass
Tickets for the Budapest Wine Festival are available for 4.990 HUF on the spot or in advance on the event's website.
The daily wristband includes a crystal wine glass, a wine glass holder, and one free tasting from the 2021 VinAgora medal-winning wines.
According to the government decrees currently in force, the 30th Budapest Wine Festival can only be visited by persons with a proper vaccination certificate and persons under the age of eighteen who are under their supervision.
23-24 September, Thursday-Friday: 14:00-24:00
25 September, Saturday: 12:00-24:00
26 September, Sunday: 12:00-22:00
Budapest Wine Festival