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Discovering Hungary's Heirloom Grapes in Lake Balaton

Benoît Peverelli Béla Fölfödi, Szeremley's winemaker, holds a traditional tasting pipette

Photo: Benoît Peverelli

The heirloom grapes from Hungary's Lake Balaton are unlike any other in the world—and the local wines remain utterly authentic. Balaton, a two-hour drive from Budapest, is one of the largest and shallowest lakes in Europe—a giant, cigar-shaped puddle that extends nearly 50 miles, southwest to northeast, across the Pannonian plain. A simulacrum of a seacoast for millions of landlocked Hungarians, it serves every possible recreational need.

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Destinations: Hungary · Budapest · Veszprem · Keszthely · Balaton

Inspired by: Wine's Next Frontier: Hungary's Lake Balaton — by Bruce Schoenfeld, Published Apr. 2006

Hotels (2)

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    Betekints Hotel

  • Tl500-a-europe-fs-gresham-palace_standard_thumb

    Four Seasons Hotel, Gresham Palace

    Landmarked 179-room Art Nouveau masterpiece (gold mosaic towers; 19th-century stained-glass portraits; winter gardens) at the base of the Chain Bri

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Restaurants (3)

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Activities (2)

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    Figula Wines

    A modern winery on an ancient site, making Rieslings and other white wines with zing.

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    Szeremley Estate

    The most tourist-oriented of the Balaton wineries, but also one of the most scenic places to try Hungaricum.

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