Our bridal pair had chosen the village of Villany for their wedding celebrations largely because the bride’s grand-parents had once owned a vineyard here and the family had spent many happy hours in the area which is just two hours by car from their home in Budapest.
While wine-making in Villany can be traced back to Roman times, much of it had been developed more recently, largely by Swabian settlers who were encouraged to emigrate to the Kingdom of Hungary in the first half of the 1700s. The settlers were industrious, working incessantly to rebuild the countryside devastated by Ottoman rule and replanting the vines. Centuries later Villány, the southernmost of Hungary’s 22 wine regions, is one of Hungary’s top wine regions, known for its award winning reds and rosés.
This is also where Hungary’s very first wine route was set up: in addition to the protected, landmark cellar-streets, old press-houses and small family businesses, wineries operating with state-of-the-art technology welcome visitors with open doors. Consequently, the region is popular with wine tourism. Most of the wine cellars are located on a wine route in close proximity to each other – along the main road! They are open for wine tasting and some wineries, like Bock and Gere, even offer accommodation.
If you’re thinking of spending some time in Budapest, this town would provide a lovely, relaxing (and inexpensive) extra couple of days. Plus, you could expand your wine knowledge!