The Tasting Panel magazine

March 2018

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Page 43 of 112

march 2018  /  the tasting panel  /  43 TRAVELING M any tourists make visits to UNESCO attractions a focal point of their trips abroad, and in Hungary's case, the Tokaj wine region serves as a matchless representation of the country's rich winemaking heritage. A member of the UNESCO World Heritage list since 2002, the region is just one of several major attractions in Hungary to earn the prestigious recognition. Read on for a brief overview of tourism destinations highly deserving of a spot on your travel itinerary: Touring Hungary's Winemaking Heritage With its thousand-year history, the Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma has a strong legacy in wine production and housed winemaking Benedictine monks in Roman times. The area around the abbey encompasses a vineyard and winery, and several wine-themed events are held there throughout the year. Viticultural tradition also dating back to Roman times unfolded in the southwestern city then known as Sopianae, where tourists can now visit the Early Christian Necropolis of Pécs (the ancient network of tombs was named a UNESCO World Heritage Site in 2000). Just 35 kilometers to the south, the town of Villány is often referred to as the best place to discover complex and full-bodied Hungarian red wines. To the north, the Ferto " /Neusiedlersee Cultural Landscape is a geographically- diverse lake and wetlands area that ranks among the country's must-see natural attractions. The nearby town of Sopron, meanwhile, is known for its fruity and vibrant Blaufränkisch wines. The Cultural Landscape of the Tokaj Wine Region Situated in the northeastern part of Hungary and surrounded by hundreds of volcanic mountains, the Tokaj wine region finds its center in the small and peaceful town of the same name. Visitors to the region can seek out not only the appealing aszú dessert wine, but the elegant, vibrant volcanic whites of dry Furmint and Hárslevelu". An even brighter star in the region is the village of Mád, which is known to surpass expectations when it comes to culinary and wine-related programs. The area also hosts a myriad of festivals, which condense the essence and atmosphere of Tokaj into tangible and unforgettable experiences. Viticultural Vantage Points HUNGARY'S UNESCO SITES SHOWCASE THE COUNTRY'S WINEMAKING HISTORY by Izzy Watson PHOTOS COURTESY OF THE HUNGARIAN TOURISM AGENCY Pécs, the fifth-largest city in Hungary, is home to the Sts. Peter and Paul Cathedral. The Benedictine Abbey of Pannonhalma housed winemaking monks in Roman times and still holds wine-themed events. The wine country of Tokaj is known worldwide for its aszú dessert wine, dry Furmint, and Hárslevelu˝.

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