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Wine in Hungary
Transcript of Wine in Hungary
Production - Consumption
In the agriculture economy, the wine sector is very important. Hungary is on the 25 first wine producers in the world. The domestic production represent 90 % of the consumption.
Wine sales suffered further losses in 2012. Domestic grape wine production could not supply the demand of wine consumption and lost significant sales volume, requiring a significant increase in import wines to over one million litres, which in turn negatively affects domestic producers.
The wine production is not the same every years, it depends on the weather. That's why the vintage has many different qualities.
Exportation - Importation
The exportation of the hungarian wine is approximately one quarter of the production, the 3 other quarters are consume in Hungary. The amount of the exportation is about 80 to 100 millions euros per year.
The main customers of Hungary are Germany, Czech Republic, Slovakia, Russia, Great Britain and Poland.
Italy is the main exporter in Hungary with 73 % of the market. Italy and Spain exporting lot of cheap red wine because Hungary produce more white wine than red wine and the demand of the red wine is more important than the supply. France is the fifth exporter with 2 % of the market.
The rich tradition of winemaking has held a central role in Hungarian culture for more than a thousand years. Its winemaking traditions date back to 500BC, and are influenced, in part, by the Romans. At the beginning of the 20th century, Hungary was one of Europe’s largest wine producers, behind France and Germany. Hungary had a successful wine production and distribution for over centuries. Communism, the two world wars and Phylloxera spread, like in France, put an end to this. It took Hungary for over more than 40 years to get the wine industry booming again, due to the communist regime it was forbidden to produce wine. In 1989, after the communist regime, Hungary started producing wine again.
Hungary has over than 82,000 ha under vine, and is divided into 22 wine regions, each with a different microclimate producing different tastes and styles. The climate and the soil are perfect for wine making in Hungary.
There are over 90 varieties grown including both local varieties and international grapes. The largest wine region of the country is Kunsag (38 %) with around 28,000 hectares.
The most famous is the sweet wines of Tokaji – praised by King Louis XIV as “wine of kings, and king of wines”.
White wine is the most important production in Hungary, 69 % and only 28 % for red wine.
There are about 20 major wine companies who dispose a lot of capital from investments of hungarian financial groups and foreign investments. These companies have formed their own distribution networks in Hungary and on the most important foreign markets. Some of them are the leaders of the marketing and export of Hungarian wines, which represent 70 % of the marketing. Hilltop is one of Hungary's largest producers (7-8 million bottles annually) and 90% of its total sales go to Great Britain.
But there is also more than 12 000 independent producers which have their own vineyards and they product their wine by themselves.
Wine is very important in the Hungarian culture, as in France. The wine market also takes a big place in the economy of the country : many jobs are created, there is the wine tourism, many events are organized like Borfesztivál in Budapest in September...