Dear Reader,

Three years ago, with the intention of creating a tradition, we announced the wine tasting event we named The Wine of the Hungarian Parliament.

We did this in order to encourage guests who attend official National Assembly events at the House of Parliament - this historical site of Hungarian legislation - to learn more about the finest vintages of historical Hungarian wine regions and winemakers, and thus take our good reputation home with them all over the world.

Even though the saying goes, “good wine needs no bush”, we know that in times of ever new and developing technical innovation becoming part of our everyday lives, quality assurance is gaining an even more important role. Only products that comply with the increasing rigour of quality requirements can be successful in the long run.

In addition to the Hungarian legislation providing a legal environment to promote quality winemaking, it is the goal  of our wine tasting event to stimulate high-standards in the Hungarian wine trade, to consolidate the good reputation of and provide further opportunities for those who love wine.

The previous three years have proved that this initiative can withstand the test of time: this year, we have received a record 113 applications from wineries from all over the Carpathian Basin.

Noblesse oblige. May our winners serve as representatives and advertisers of centuries-old Hungarian viticulture, its quality and spirit, in Hungary and beyond.

László Kövér
Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly

The Wine of the Hungarian Parliament competition

Being one of Hungary’s trademarks, high quality Hungarian wine has been a worthy emissary for our country for centuries now. The Wine of the Hungarian Parliament competition was established to select wines of outstanding quality, suitable to represent the Hungarian National Assembly at parliamentary receptions. Keeping the highest quality requirements at the forefront, we welcome entries from wineries located in one of Hungary’s historical wine regions and focussing on Hungarian wine-making tradition. Candidates can enter with bottled quality wines and bottled wines with special attributes which comply with Hungarian regulations and are commercially distributed in Hungary.

The categories of wine grape varieties and blends are as follows: olaszrizling, furmint, other whites, kékfrankos, bikavér, cabernet franc, kadarka, tokaji aszú.

The wines were evaluated based on the positive evaluation method of 100 points that was developed by U.I.O.E. and O.I.V. and recommended by the Les Grands Concours Internationaux de Vins et Spiritueux. The jury consisted of Hungarian and foreign experts with expansive experience in tasting and evaluation; most of them are DipWSET-certified, having earned their diploma from the London Wine & Spirit Education Trust (WSET).

The Wine of the Hungarian Parliament competition debuted in 2017 with the aim of starting a tradition, and was held with the participation of wineries from 13 historical wine regions of Hungary, as well as a nominee from Arad-hegyalja. In its first year a total of 147 entries from 81 wineries competed in the eight announced categories, while 160 bottles of 90 wineries from 17 wine regions entered the competition in 2018. In 2019, 19 of 22 wine regions applied, while 113 wineries with 203 entries took part in the competition for the honorary title of Wine of the Hungarian Parliament 2019.

The statuette awarded to the grand prix winner of The Wine of the Hungarian Parliament competition features one of the female figures of the sculptural ensemble of viticulture found in the old Upper House lounge. The three-figural composition made in Vilmos Zsolnay’s workshop was placed in such a distinguished location for good reason: Imre Steindl, the designer of the Parliament building, intended to draw the attention of the parliamentary representatives of the time to the prominence of Hungarian viniculture. The MPs did their job well since Hungarian legislators created a solid foundation for the country’s viniculture and oenology in the modern history of Hungary, which even the darkest periods of dictatorship could not dismantle.

The Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly established the prize to honour those who win this prominent title with their excellent wines.

Legislative background

During the 19th century, the Hungarian National Assembly passed two pieces of legislation that laid the legal foundation for traditional wine production. Act XXIII of 1893 was the first regulation by which the state protected the interests of Hungarian winemakers against wine doctoring. Then, stipulated by Act XII of 1894, the national council of hill communities was formed and then became the cornerstone of high quality wine production in Hungary. Thanks to these legislative measures, the Hungarian state consolidated domestic viniculture.