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Dél-Balaton Wine Region

The Younger Wine District of Balaton

Dél-Balaton in the western end of the Balaton wine region of Hungary is the younger wine region in this oldest wine-producing country.

The wine lovers would better understand if I say Balatonboglár as the Dél-Balaton was renamed as Balatonboglár in the year 1997.

Yes, this is one of the famous tourist destinations in the world and is popularly known as a resort town.

Located on the southern shores of the Lake Balaton, this wine district has almost 3,200 hectares of land under vine cultivation.

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Now, let’s see about the viticulture and viniculture of Dél-Balaton here…

Fall and Rise of Viticulture in Dél-Balaton

As we look at the history of viticulture in Hungary especially Balaton, we can understand that the northern side of the Lake Balaton has been connected to the wines right from the historical times.

But, in the southern and the western sides of the lake, especially Dél-Balaton wine district, the practice of viticulture has been first started by the Romans and has been discontinued in the 19th century due to the phylloxera outbreak.

It was only during the modern times (during the 1960s) that the wine production was started again in this region after the introduction of modern techniques.

This is why I called Dél-Balaton as the younger wine district of Balaton. The primary reason for the rise of viticulture in this region is the presence of the lake which helps in moderating the climate of western Hungary thereby making viticulture possible here.

The lake is creating the optimal conditions for the production of both white and red wines here. It is to be noted that without this lake, this region would be experiencing a continental type of climate with hotter summers and colder winters.

The soil of this region is found to be brown forest-type with loess base rock with smaller amounts of sand.

At present, we do not know how the wines of Dél-Balaton will perform in the global wine market. And, the success of these wines will largely depend on the styles being adopted by the modern winemakers of the region and place of their market.

Wines and Wine Grapes of Dél-Balaton

We can observe that most of the Hungarian wine producers have stopped the production of ponderous and heavy oxidized wines and the young wines that are being produced now are found to be fresher, milder, lighter, and fruitier.

Dél-Balaton, which was one of the largest sources of mass-produced wines of the country, has now made a commitment to follow controlled winemaking methods.

In general, the red and white wines that are produced from local grape varieties of Dél-Balaton are found to be very simple but with some exceptions.

The full-bodied white wines and champagnes are found to be dominating in this region, although red grapes are also increasingly grown today.

At present, the Dél-Balaton’s major grape variety is found to be Királyleányka. The other major grape varieties of this region are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Zöld Veltelini
  • Olaszrizling
  • Rizlingszilvani

In addition to these major varieties, we can find smaller quantities of the following grape varieties:

  • Rajnai Rizling
  • Yellow Muscat
  • Tramini
  • Sauvignon Blanc

Apart from these, the major red grape varieties of Dél-Balaton are represented by the following grape varieties:

  • Merlot
  • Kekfrankos
  • Cabernet Sauvignon
  • Cabernet Franc
  • Pinot Noir
  • Zweigelt
  • Kekoporto

In the high-quality light wine range, the varieties like Irsai Olivér and Szurkebarat are being used.

Other Grape Varieties of Dél-Balaton:

  • Welschriesling
  • Rheinriesling
  • Blaufränkisch
  • Furmint
  • Syrah

The notable wines from Dél-Balaton are:

  • Chardonnay
  • Légli Olaszrizling
  • Boglári Tramini
  • Királyleányka
  • BB champagnes

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Author

Tharani Rajamanickam

Tharani Rajamanickam

Winewriter

I am Tharani, I have Bachelors degree in Biotechnology. I am passionate about the wine industry and continue to explore, learn and share and I bring in a wealth of knowledge and expertise to help you keep updated with best wines in the world. Stay tuned..

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