Never before have so many Hungarian wines been recognized at the Sommelier Wine Awards, the UK’s commercial wine competition.
This year, a total of 39 Hungarian wines were awarded, whereas in previous years the competition’s jury of the best winemakers and wine experts awarded six (2018) and 11 Hungarian wines (2019).
“Hungary is definitely the country to look out for,” said the judges.
The awards are of particular importance because this competition – launched in 2007 – is a reference point for not only wine buyers but also for hotels, restaurants and bars across the UK.
The three gold medals are all from Tokaj: Balassa István Tokaji Furmint 2018, 2016 Royal Tokaji Dry Furmint and Szepsy István 2016 sweet Szamorodni. Hungarian winemakers also brought home 10 silver and seven bronze medals, and another 16 Hungarian wines and sweet champagnes were recognized, too. This year, Hungarian red wines performed particularly well.
Seven British wine merchants nominated Hungarian wines, although it was one local distributor that nominated most of them. The small Hungarian family business, named “Best of Hungary,” is run by Monika Gyenes and her son, Zoltán Kopácsi. Founded in November 2016, the company primarily distributes Hungarian food specialties, importing items from small manufacturers in Hungary to the UK. They started dealing in wines just last year.
Gábor Herczeg, a wine exporter, continuously helps them improve their portfolio and nominate wines. He believes that Hungarian wine has an untapped potential in the United Kingdom. “Hungary is a thousand-year-old country with excellent viticulture and strong winemaking traditions and expertise; and this year’s results at the Sommelier Wine Awards clearly show this,” said Monika Gyenes.