Often referred to as one of the most prestigious, most popular wine and art fests in Europe, the Budapest Wine Festival is organized for the 28th time this year, on September 5-8, in the beautiful historic setting of the UNESCO World Heritage site, Buda Castle.
Attracting tens of thousands of visitors from all over the world, this festival is organized every September, presenting thousands of wines from over 150 wineries from Hungary and abroad. “Even for guests who are not wine experts, the ambience and the programs guarantee an unforgettable time spent in Budapest,” organizers say, believing that the combination of the world heritage setting and the assortment of premium wines greatly contributes to the acknowledgment of Hungarian wines on the world market and to a more pronounced image of the country as a popular travel destination. “Event attendees will, as in the past, be able to taste wines and network with independent growers to learn about the differences between styles, regions and country production methods.” Instead of inviting guest countries, organizers decided to highlight the Eger wine region this year, to draw more attention to the characteristics of the region’s grape varieties and wine styles and promote the region as a wonderful tourist destination in the fall season. Eger will also be the focus of the Wine University, to be organized at the MOM Cultural Center on September 2, three days before the festival kicks off in the castle.
Trying the ‘A couple of wine couples’ program is a must at the festival: winemakers will offer their wines as "two drinks for one", to encourage experts and non-experts alike to make comparisons, to recognize certain types of grapes or vintages. On Sunday, starting at noon, a parade will be held: representatives of Hungarian wine regions, members of wine orders and wine-lovers' associations will march through the streets of the castle district, in a colorful, spectacular procession, to evoke the atmosphere of a harvest parade. Another tradition is the Charity Wine Auction that benefits the Hungarian Maltese Fund. This year’s novelty is a cooperation with the Autistic Art Foundation, presenting a repertoire of Bolyki, Etyeki Kúria, Gilvesy, Luka, Konyári and Vylyan wines featuring special labels made by autistic youngsters (all for sale, available at the foundation’s stand).
During the four days of the festival, the most popular Hungarian bands of world music, folk music, folk dance and jazz genres will provide entertainment, such as Kiscsillag, the Aurevoir, the Muzsikás Ensemble, Lajos Sárközy and his band, László Dés, Béla Szakcsi Lakatos, Csaba Deseő, Kálmán Oláh, Elemér Balázs, János Egri, Imre Kőszegi, Tamás Berki, Kornél Fekete - Kovács, László Gőz.
The Wine Festival offers a cornucopia of culinary delights, ranging from traditional festival cuisine and street food to gourmet specialties. Gastronomy exhibitors this year include PizzaMe, Terra Tuffola, the Litvanian Dziugas and Szega Market (both offering cheese), Szittya Pita Kenyérlángosozó, Ami Burger, SPAR Grill Terrace, Fresh Corner, Julius Meinl, along with Gerbeaud and Bolka Bonbon. Those wanting to have lunch or dinner at a laid table in the midst of the Festival can do so under the Baroque gate at the exclusive Budapest Terrace, by choosing the Laid Table service which includes a three-course lunch or dinner with wines, in addition to the daily ticket for the festival.