DEL-BALATON HUNGARIAN WINE
The soil of the most southerly of the three wine areas around Lake Balaton is a mixture of sand and clay. Most of the Hungarian wine-makers no longer produce ponderous, heavy, and oxidised wines as was once the case. The young wines are fresh, mild, light, and fruity and are chiefly made from Irsai Oliver, Tramini, Olaszrizling, Chardonnay, and Muskotaly (Muscat). There are also a few red Hungarian wines made from Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Cabernet Franc, and Kekfrankos. The local reds and whites here are generally very simple affairs but the exception is the superb, taut wines of Chapel Hill in Balatonboglar which are full of character. These Hungarian wines originate from small areas of land on volcanic soil. The Chapel Hill Sauvignon Blanc and those of Otto Legli are two of the surprising exceptions.
BALATONMELLEK HUNGARIAN WINE
The soil of this most western of the Lake Balaton wine areas on the northern shore consists of chalk, marl, and some tufa, interspersed with volcanic outcrops. This makes the area ideal for white Hungarian wines and hence it is planted with Olaszrizling, Rajnai Rizling, Rizling Szilvani, Szrkebarat, Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay, and some other white grape varieties.
The outstanding wine-maker Sander Toth makes excellent aromatic, full-bodied, and classic-style Chardonnay, but also exceptionally sensual wines such as the Aldozoi Zoldveltelini and Enit.
Badacsony Hungarian Wine
This fairly small Hungarian wine area is sited around the town of this name on the northern shores of Lake Balaton. The soil chiefly consists of basalt and other volcanic types. This imparts high acidity, a rich bouquet, and fulsome but fiery taste to the local Hungarian wines. The area’s speciality is an exceptionally sultry, slightly sweet to sweet wine that is made from late harvested Keknyelu, Szrkebarat, Tramini, Rajnai Rizling, and Muskotaly (Muscat) grapes.
But there are also many fresh and scented dry white wines that are made from Olaszrizling, Zold Veltelini, and Sauvignon Blanc, plus full-bodied, rich Chardonnays.
Balatonfiired-Csopak Hungarian Wine
This is the most north-westerly of the areas around Lake Balaton, situated around the town of Csopak. The soil is mainly underlying strata of volcanic origin with shale, ferruginous sandstone, rock, and chalk. White Hungarian wines are produced here from Olaszrizling, Rajnai Rizling, Rizling Szilvâny, Tramini, Muskotaly, Sauvignon Blanc, and Chardonnay), reds from Cabernet Franc, Merlot, Pinot Noir, and Zweigelt, plus rosés from Merlot, Zweigelt, and Kékfrankos). Balatonfüred wines are full-bodied, powerful, and rounded, while those of Csopak possess greater finesse, acidity, and elegance for a Hungarian wine.