Budapest stories

Budafok: Budapest’s Hidden Gem for Wine Lovers


If you’re looking for a unique and unforgettable experience that will cool you down and warm you up at the same time, look no further than the charming district of Budafok. This little-known treasure has been a vital part of Hungary’s wine and champagne-making history for centuries, and it’s time for you to discover its secrets!

The story of Budafok’s wine culture begins in 1712 when German settlers began cultivating grapes, particularly the Kadarka and other blue grape varieties, in the area now known as Rózsavölgy (Rose Valley). But the real magic was happening beneath the surface, where extensive mining activities slowly created a vast cellar system that now stretches an impressive 80-120 km under the town. Can you imagine the adventures you could have exploring this underground labyrinth?

Fast forward to 1882, and the renowned Törley Champagne Factory was founded in Budafok, putting the town on the map for its sparkling wines. And in 1901, Hungary’s first School of Cellar Masters was established here by Ignác Darányi, cementing Budafok’s status as a hub for wine education and innovation.

Despite the challenges of nationalization in 1948, Budafok’s wine culture experienced a resurgence in the 1980s. The town’s dedication to its viticultural heritage was recognized in 1987 when it was awarded the prestigious title of “City of Grapes and Wine” in Italy. Since then, a new generation of talented winemakers, such as Vencel Garamvári and the Katona and Várszegi wineries, have made their home in the historic cellars, carrying on the proud traditions of Budafok.

As a visitor, the best way to immerse yourself in this fascinating history is to embark on the Budafok Cellar Shuttle, which operates on the first Saturday of every month. This unique tour will take you on a journey through the town’s most significant wine, gastronomic, and historical sites, offering a chance to meet the passionate winemakers, sample their creations, and explore the mysterious cellar system.

So, what are you waiting for? Raise a glass to Budafok, Budapest’s hidden gem for wine lovers and history buffs alike! Trust the locals to guide you to the best spots, and don’t be surprised if you find yourself lost in the enchanting stories and flavors of this remarkable town. So cool down in the vast cellars and let the finest champagnes and wines warm your blood. Cheers or as the Hungarians say, “Egészségedre!

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