This year, on the bicentennial anniversary of the birth of Sándor Petőfi, the poet and revolutionary is remembered by the country and the nation. A man who, like many of the great figures of the Reform Period, so often refers to wine in his poetry. And for good reason.
The Hungarian spirit, Hungarian culture and tradition - from The Conquest through turbulent centuries to the many challenges of the present day - has always regarded wine and wine culture as a symbol of Hungarian hospitality and generosity, and as an embodiment of the ancient desire for freedom.
In recent years, Wine of the House has found and maintained its role in the series of high quality events promoting wine culture with its traditional roots, as both the number of entries and volume of both national and international feedback confirms.
For this reason alone we shall not change the goals we set. Serving as the ambassador for the production of Hungarian quality wines, the aim of our wine competition is to provide a platform for the recognition of our historic wine regions and dedicated winemakers, and for the organic development and the continuous renewal and quality that merges the past, the present and the future.
To quote Petőfi in conclusion: „Here is the glass, where is the wine? Pour!”
Speaker of the Hungarian National Assembly
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.