The historic wine-growing area of Sopron
Kékfrankos borút | Ákos Borászat (Ákos Winery) | Fényes Pincészet (Fényes Cellar) | Gangl Borászat (Gangl Winery) | Hermann Pince (Hermann Cellar) | Luka Pincészet (Luka Winery) | Pfneiszl Pincészet (Pfneiszl Winery) | Sterlik Pince (Sterlik Cellar) | Töltl Pincészet (Töltl Cellar) | Taschner Borház (Taschner Winery) | Vincellér-ház (Vine-grower’s-house) | Weninger Pincészet (Weninger Winery)
The region of Sopron is one of the oldest wine-growing areas in Hungary. It is situated at the foot of the Alps, on the low hillsides and gentle slopes bordering Lake Fertő. Nearly 1,500 cultivated hectares around the lake enjoy a favourable climate as the warmth of the sun is reflected in the water, and its constant evaporation protects the vines. The soil structure is rich in loess, mica-slate, clay and salt - providing a perfect basis for an excellent viniculture.
Wine growing here dates back to the time of the Celts, who became aware of the favourable climatic and natural conditions of the area as early as 300 BC. During the time of the Roman Empire, Probus Caesar made his soldiers plant grapes around the town, which was then called Scarbantia. Later, under the protection of the Frankish Empire, Bavarian settlers laid the foundations of grape growing and winemaking, which have continued ever since.
At the beginning of the 14th century, Sopron was one of Hungary’s most important wine-growing regions, and its commercial links reached far beyond the old frontiers of the country. The wines of Sopron were ordered for the tables of kings and archdukes for their high quality and occasionally even played a role in pacifying Europe, reconciling bickering sovereigns. Several letters with these statements are preserved in the town archives.
As a result of its status as a free royal town, Sopron had various wine-related privileges in the middle ages. In its heyday, it gradually became the centre of the Hungarian and even European wine trade, the western gate of the Carpathian Basin. Working constantly to maintain the quality of their viniculture, the citizens of Sopron cherished the good reputation of their wines with jealous eyes. It's no wonder they introduced drastic regulations to protect their wines, including wine tolls, wine-selling licences, or those governing the transport of non-local wines into the town or controlling the wine trade in general. From the 19th century onwards, the Sopron area’s viticulture became famous far and wide, as a result of the diligent work of its farming citizens, or ’poncichters’ as they were called here. Unlike in other regions of the country, wine cellars in Sopron were not built in the vineyards, but in the town, in the basement of stone houses. These wine cellars provided safety for their owners, who, based on the right assigned to them by the town, were allowed to sell their wine locally in their own "Buschenschank". However, the devastation wreaked by the plant disease phylloxera halted the advancement of the wine-growing region, and the replanting of the area also failed to bring a turn for the better. Three-fourths of the wine-growing region around Sopron, which had previously been famous for its white wines, were planted with red grapes, and are now consequently dominated by these varieties. Nevertheless, white wines are still appreciated. The wines grown here are markedly acidic and rich in tannin, and are most preferred by discerning consumers. Wine growers in other regions are especially fond of buying Sopron wines to blend with their own varieties.
In 1987, the International Vine and Wine Office awarded Sopron the title of “Town of Grapes and Wine" as a recognition of the qualities of this wine-growing area.
The ’flagship wine’ of the region is Kékfrankos; its barrique version has won international acclaim on several occasions. Zweigelt, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot and Pinot Noir plantations are also notable.
Finally, mention must be made of the white wine varieties: Grüner Veltliner, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Tramini, Irsai Olivér, Zenit, Early Roter Veltliner and Királyleányka (Little Princess) all make up the local palette.
For more information: www.soproniborvidek.hu
The Kékfrankos Wine Route (Kékfrankos Borút)
This wine route connects 14 cellars in the region. Guided tours of the wineries and the villages and monuments in the neighbourhood as well as tasting sessions are regularly organised. For more information, please ask for brochures on site.
Wine cellars, wineries
Ákos Borászat (Ákos Winery)
Fényes Pincészet (Fényes Cellar)
9400 Sopron, Présház telep
Gangl Borászat (Gangl Winery)
9400 Sopron, Lehár F. u. 58-62.
Hermann Pince (Hermann Cellar)
9421 Fertőrákos, Szt. Sebestyén út 21.
Luka Pincészet (Luka Winery)
9421 Fertőrákos, Szt. Sebestyén út 49.
Pfneiszl Pincészet (Pfneiszl Winery)
9400 Sopron, Kőszegi u. 81.
Sterlik Pince (Sterlik Cellar)
Sopron, Lővér krt. 28
Töltl Pincészet (Töltl Cellar)
Sopron, Zárányi u. 21.
Taschner Borház (Taschner Winery)
Sopron, Balfi u. 164.
Széchenyi Vinotéka – Termelői Borkimérő
9493 Fertőboz, Fő u. 32-33.