Nov 01

Hungary’s harvest a mixed one

Tag: Ländersigi.hiss @ 13:42

by Caroline Gilby MW – This is a year when luck played quite a role in the grape harvest. Producers all over the country, including the northern areas of Pannonhalma, Sopron, Eger, and Szekszárd in the south, report severe hail damage in July, destroying up to a third of the crop in some areas.

Rainy weather in July added to disease pressure with reports of the worst powdery mildew for 20 years. Three sunny weeks in August, without the extreme heat of 2007, rescued some of the early-picked whites, while some Pinot Noir picked in August shows good results. September turned cold and rainy and some producers abandoned Pinot Noir and Zweigelt due to disease. October brought relief with a warm Indian summer and clear skies. Later reds like Cabernet, Merlot and Kékfrankos are looking promising with high sugars, balanced acids and ripe tannins.

In Tokaji, smaller growers have picked most of their crops, but the more renowned producers have only just started and expect to continue into December. The humid conditions in September, followed by a sunny October, have brought good conditions for botrytis and producers are optimistic for very high quality sweet wines, while dry Tokajis are forecast to be medium to good quality. Overall, Hungary forecasts production of around 3.5m hl from 69,000 ha, 25% up on last year.

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