Small off-the-beaten-path gems

Szia and jo reggelt! (nine words and counting after two weeks, ha!)

I've had a lot of long chats with the tourist office here in Pécs and they've been giving me some great ideas for articles for my "ongoing gastro/wine discoveries" (which will also include--we think as an interesting necessity--gastro/production/etc changes post-communism) in mostly southern/sw/se Hungary. I'm thinking this weekend I'll go to "cellar row" and do some chatting with the vintners if they're around--it's like a 40 minute easy train ride to Villany and the place just west of it, where there's a cute hotel (Hotel Cabernet, love the name!) that has a couple pairing programs that look interesting.

However, what I'd like to know from everyone is what places--the small-town, low production but awesome, gram's still cooking in the kitchen of the local little cafe--that you'd recommend or have found (accessible by train or bus as I have no car). I've met a couple people who are interested in going to these places with me to serve as interpreter, so that's a help.

For the moment I'd like to concentrate on the southern/se/sw area. Hungary (and Eastern Europe itself) has been largely "passed over" without realizing what gastro/wine gems there are here!

Thanks :-)

From where you are, check out Tettye, Villány (wine cellars), Orfú, Harkány, Mecseknádásd, Szigetvár, Szekszárd and Hajos, all of which have excellent csárdas and restaurants, as well as interesting tales to tell.

Thanks! Anything or somewhere specific you can direct me to? Somewhere you yourself have gone to? I plan to do Villanykovesd this weekend. I think I went to Tettye already (to Tukeborhaz and had a great time doing some tasting--they suggested also that I go to Villany).

Hajos has delightful wine cellars and produces excellent wines - Cabernet, Kadarka (linked to Schubert), and nearby Kalocsa has a Cathedral, Bishop's Palace, and is famous for its pottery and paprika.

I can not provide any small, off the beaten path places.

But I will say this: while all the red wines in Villány are good, IMHO, the best Cabernet Franc from Villány is the one wine from that region that can go head to head with any of the best wines from Bordeaux or California. Wherever you go, ask to try their Cabernet Franc, if they have this varietal.

Villányi Kékoporto (Portugieser)  has always been a favourite wine of mine!

For your future list, you could always go to the Eger wine region and try Bikaver and local artisan wine - lots of cellars sell direct. 

But it's North East, so not in the South  or South East.   You can also wander the forest up there.   

See here: Szalajka Valley

It's easily driveable from Budapest in one day but a longer weekend might be more appropriate to enjoy it more.   We were there yesterday and we went there and back in a long'ish day by car.  It also looks easy by train but would take longer.

I'm in Bp, so I can't help with the travel portion so much. But there are a host of red Hungarian wines that I find quite tasty and economical.
Here's a link to the overall wine regions in Hungary:

Hope you enjoy your "research"!

Yep there are a whole slew of 'em -- 22, if I remember correctly. I plan on enjoying all the research ;-) and have gotten some nice feedback about small towns and csardas from the tourist office and also all of you!  Tomorrow I am going to a winery for a tour of the vineyard, cellar, process and, of course, tasting and pairing, all in the company of the winemaker, whom I'll be interviewing throughout the process. It should be great fun and above all pretty interesting!

I've already done one (Tuke Borhaz), but that was just a very simple one and was more gastronomic, and certainly nothing like the lineup planned for tomorrow.

I was able to do one in the Tokaj region years ago.  The winemaster, dressed in traditional garb, met us, took us down into the wine tunnels (maybe 10-20 meters underground, with a temperature drop of about 10C degrees!).  The my group of friends sat in a "cave" learning the history of the grapes, the harvesting and fermentation processes, and food pairings and it was GREAT! Fantastic!! (It was all in Hungarian, but what I didn't understand myself was translated by friends).
I wish you so much fun!

People could also try Pannonhalma.  It has a commercial winery of some scale noting the vineyards surrounding the Abbey.  The Abbey itself is surprisingly uninteresting considering its apparent importance. 

But the trip around the winery was relatively interesting for its sheer size although no processing was going on at the time. Wine tasting (aka sales pitch) at the end of the trip around the place.

See here: Pannonhalma Arch Abbey Winery

There's a restaurant there as well with nice views but it's pricey.

Let us suffice to say: one can not move much in Hungary without tripping over a vineyard and winery.

And I am sure the OP (cantstopmoving ) will let us know when she visits other regions. So not to overwhelm this thread, or the OP, maybe we should stick to suggestions from, and concentrate on, the southern/se/sw area for now.  ;)

I am sure cantstopmoving will let us know when she plans to visit those other regions where one can find each or our own favorite wineries; and then will be the ideal time to (re)suggest them.  :top:

All above is my humble opinion, only, of course.  :D

:D The OP is gigglin' right about now! It's very true, though -- I mean, there are 22 regions and countless csardas and I only have bus and train to rely on to get me anywhere. And I pretty much only have weekends to run around exploring and writing about everything I see and do! After I've written the article, I'll post the link for it.

After I've concentrated on this southern/se/sw region, I'll start exploring more and others, but for now....there's only me and my 10 words of Hungarian LOL

So how did it go? Had fun? Good wine and company? Let us know!  :)

I'll send you the magazine's website with my write-up when it's published ;-) And you can read all about how much fun it was!!

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