In his essay The Mentality of the Hungarian Winemaker the well known Hungarian historian, Gyula Szekfű, reminded us exactly a century ago that being so deeply rooted in culture, Hungarian viti- and viniculture goes beyond the material, tangible aspects and also has a historical past developed on psychological factors.
In our wine competition in the House of Parliament we have been keen to remind our audiences of all generations, of the wisdom of our ancestors. These words were meant to motivate the production of quality wine and encourage Hungarian winemakers to keep pushing ahead on the everchanging road of the wine trade both within and outside of our borders.
These ideas led us to create Wine of the House, a wine competition in 2017. The success of the event has been obvious: 51 world class Hungarian wines have so far won the competition, serving as proof of the outstanding achievements of our winemakers.
Today we Hungarians can be proud of not only this magnificent building called the House of Parliament but also of our exquisite wines which we highly recommend to anyone with a taste and heart for excellent wine.
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. In 2020 231 wines from 18 wine regions were judged by the jury. In 2021 218 wines of 93 wineries from 19 wine regions competed for the title. In 2022 19 wine regions applied, 89 wineries with 181 wines.
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.
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.