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Hungarian Wine Workshop in Hong Kong & Macau

Mar 05, 2013

Hong Kong’s first independent Hungarian Wine Workshop took place on March 4, 2013. The event was organized by Veritas Wine and sponsored by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MFA) of Hungary, Veritas Wine, Wiseville and Watson’s Wine. In the morning, we had a session Macau's beautiful IFT wine lab, and in the afternoon PolyU’s School of Hotel & Tourism Management hosted the full-house events in Hotel ICON’s Vinoteca wine lab. Wines form the prestigious MFA Wine Selection were tasted, and special advisor to the MFA Ms. Helga Gál gave a presentation about Hungarian wine regions and winemaking history. It was a great opportunity to learn about the Hungarian winemaking history and taste wonderful Hungarian wines.

Prof. Paul Kan, Hungary's Honorary Consul attended the workshop and presented an opening speech to the audience.

Ms. Helga Gál is a wine expert and enthusiast, Hungary's first female sommelier, and Official Sommelier of the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of Ministers of the European Union. Ms. Gál was born in northern Hungary, where her grandparents owned a vineyard. Winemaking and the love of wine have lived on in the family through generations: her elder brother, Mr. Tibor Gál was one of Hungary's most influential winemakers. Ms. Helga Gál is now Wine and Gastronomy Advisor to the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of Hungary. In this role she is serving as a travelling ambassador of Hungarian wines to introduce Hungary’s wonderful wine treasures to the world.

Hungarian wines date back to the Roman times. The Romans brought vines to the area, which was then known as Pannonia. 5th Century AD records mention extensive vineyards on Hungarian soil. Monarchs in the 10th Century AD are closely linked to the famous Tokaj vineyards and the world's first vineyard classification system was introduced in Tokaj, Hungary, in 1730, classifying vineyards into three categories depending on the soil, sun exposure, and potential to develop Botrytis Cinerea.

In the mid-20th century winemaking was nationalized and for a short few decades focus was on maximizing output, leading to a setback compared to other old world winemaking countries west of Hungary. In the 1990’s, Hungary resumed its historical focus on quality wine production. The winemaking industry quickly returned to international standards. Large-scale private investments and government funds facilitated vast technological improvements and extensive international and domestic training programs contributed to creating the knowledge base that was necessary to revive the international standing of the Hungarian wine industry.

Hungary has six distinctive wine regions defined by their geographical characteristics producing a wide selection of red and white, dry and sweet wines. 

Last update: Mar 07, 2013
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