Discover Hungarian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide
Join us on a journey through this historic wine country and unearth some of the most exciting wines that many people don't know about.
Discover Hungarian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide
Join us on a journey through this historic wine country and unearth some of the most exciting wines that many people don't know about.
This project will only be funded if it reaches its goal by Thu, December 5 2019 10:59 PM UTC +00:00.
Hungarian wine is one of the best-kept secrets in the world of wine. You have the power to help us illuminate the mysterious and beautiful world of Hungarian wine.
“Hungary remains one of the last traditional European wine-producing countries yet to be fully appreciated internationally. It has a rich history with a wealth of indigenous varieties and wine styles that deserve to be better known.” - John Szabo, Master Sommelier and author of Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit, and Power.
Are you looking for the next big thing? Do you like to explore wine and culture? You’ll find all that and more in Hungary. Located between the latitudes of 45 and 49 degrees North, Hungary is home to about 150 wine grape varieties (nearly 40 indigenous) and dozens of microclimates. There are endless possibilities for making great wines in the country, and many of those excellent Hungarian wines are not well-known outside Hungary. Be the one to help us uncover them.
Do you know Hungary is a country with a long tradition of producing great wines? Karen MacNeil (author of The Wine Bible) said, "From the seventeenth to the twentieth century, Hungary possessed what was arguably the third most sophisticated wine culture in Europe, after those of France and Germany.”
Despite this former glory, communism dulled the shimmer of Hungarian wines. After the fall of communism, a new generation of inspired talent took over many family estates, and now, Hungarian wines are poised to once again garner worldwide attention. You can be one of the first to be in the know.
Join us in the next chapter of Exotic Wine Travel. Discover Hungarian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide will be the fourth book in our wine guide series. The special edition (full-color and signed) will only be available to backers of this Kickstarter campaign.
We want to save you time, money, and effort. Discover Hungarian Wine will provide the pertinent information to help you get started on exploring the wines of Hungary and identifying specific wines you will enjoy. This book is meant to be a practical guide for all wine lovers, whether you enjoy wine casually or have an immense passion for the subject.
We are NOT commissioned to write Discover Hungarian Wine. The funding will come entirely from this Kickstarter and other pre-order options for the book. You will be getting our unbiased opinions on the world of Hungarian wine. The destiny of this book lies in your hands.
Discover a World of Difference. Discover Hungarian Wine.
Did you know that Hungary is home to one of the world’s first wine appellations? For hundreds of years, Tokaj was the king of wines and the wine of kings. Sweet Tokaji is simply one of the world’s great wines. In fact, 400 years ago, Tokaji was one of the most sought-after wines in the world. It was considered to be liquid gold and sold in pharmacies as a medicinal product.
Hungary isn’t a one-trick pony. There are six wine regions in Hungary, further divided into 22 districts. You’ll find everything from crisp, fiery whites to deep, complex reds, and everything in between. From the volcanic hill of Somló to the deep south of Villány, you’ll find wine that will suit every palate.
Exotic Wine Travel and Hungarian Wines
Since 2017, we’ve been traveling extensively in Hungary, visiting producers and tasting wines in the country. And tasted, we did. Within two years, we've visited all six regions and tried around 1,500 Hungarian wines, spending a total of five months in Hungary with the sole intention of learning more about Hungarian wines. So far, we have around 50% of our research and writing done but need more time to produce the best guide possible.
Hungary is a country with a long and storied tradition of winemaking. It’s become our mission to demystify Hungarian wines and see them receive their rightful recognition in the world of wine.
It’s a daunting project, but one that we are prepared and trained to tackle.
Discover Hungarian Wine: A Visitor-friendly Guide
Don’t expect a coffee table book...
But do expect a practical guide that will encourage and empower you to learn more about Hungarian wines.
As are all our books, we strive to share pertinent information about traveling in various wine regions, introduce you to the best of what each place has to offer, and provide anecdotal insights into each region’s peculiarity.
Perhaps the 'Lonely Planet Travel Guide for wine lovers'...
Our goal is to make books for the field--something you can throw in your bag and go. Something that will empower you to go out and explore, but also leave enough space for you to create yor own unique adventure. Afterward, you can put the book on the shelf or coffee table as a souvenir of your trip, complete with some wear and tear.
Can you say cheers in Hungarian?
Egészségedre (egg-ais-shaigh-eh-dreh), how’s that for "to your health"?
The Hungarian language is challenging. Let us help you learn a few useful phrases and wine terms that will give you the confidence to order Hungarian wines. Look like a hero at the restaurant by picking out the wine that everyone likes!
That perplexing Hungarian wine label:
Tired of feeling confused in the wine shop? Hungarian wine labels can be confusing. Let us help you to interpret the label, so you know how to choose the best wine for the best occasion.
Tongue-twisting grape varieties:
Hungary is home to a number of exciting indigenous grapes with crackjaw names. We will show you how to pronounce those grape varieties, teach you where they are grown, and help you understand what to expect from them in the glass. Give yourself the thrill of tasting something new and exciting.
Understand Hungarian wine regions:
There are six wine regions, further divided into 22 districts, that make up 65,000 hectares of vineyards in Hungary. There are distinctive styles being made in each of these regions. Let us help you sort them out.
Hungarian Wine Recommendations:
There are 2.9 million hectoliters of wine produced annually in Hungary. With tens of thousands of labels, selecting the right wine can be challenging. Let us help you navigate the selection and highlight wines that you might like. In our recommendations, you’ll find everything from fresh and fruity wines to age-worthy bottles that will please even the most discerning palate.
Get an insider's look at the world of Hungarian wines. We've enrolled several Hungarian wine specialists and local professionals in the "Discover Hungarian Wine" project. They include: Dániel Ercsey (Editor-in-Chief of the Hungarian magazines Pécsi Borozó and WineSofa and a judge at Concours Mondial de Bruxelles), Evá Cartwright (founder of GoVolcanic Summit and Somló Wine Shop), Györffy Zoltán (founder of Pécsi Borozó), and Master of Wine Elizabeth Gabay.
Where to buy Hungarian wine, locally and abroad:
We'll show you where to procure your favorite Hungarian wines, whether you are visiting Hungary or want to explore Hungarian wines in your own country. You'll get the resources and names of importers in major markets. You'll have a list of excellent wine retailers to visit while in Hungary. You'll also receive tips on where to find some of the most elusive wines of Hungary. We'll give you an insider's view so you can look like a pro when you visit the country.
Hungarian Wines: We’re Not the Only One Singing Its Praises
Leading critics and wine writers are aware that Hungary produces some of the most interesting wines in Europe. See what other wine professionals have to say about Hungarian wines and Exotic Wine Travel.
"Hungary's wine traditions remain little-known outside the country, Tokaji aside, and the progressive wine forces in Hungary deserve the world's support and encouragement. Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan do a great (and selfless) job in helping outsiders and newcomers understand the intricacies of Europe's wine scene east of the Adriatic, so I'm thrilled to hear they will be tackling Hungary before long. Their venture deserves support."
- Andrew Jefford - Author and Contributor to Decanter & World of Fine Wine
"Charine and Matthew are undoubtedly passionate about the subject and considering their frequent travels to lesser-known European regions, including Hungary, are uniquely positioned to report on what the country has to offer today."
- John Szabo, Master Sommelier and author of Volcanic Wines: Salt, Grit, and Power
"I can't wait to see what Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan unearth in Hungary. Their enthusiasm is infectious, and Hungarian wine really needs this straight-talking duo to remove the veil covering its treasures and get the world turned on its volcanic beauty, its delightfully named grape varieties (Juhfark anyone?) and its exciting and varied wines."
- Simon Woolf, Author of Amber Revolution: How The World Learned to Love Orange Wines.
"Always difficult, if not impossible, to describe the wines of an entire country with one word. To say all Hungarian wines are fabulous would be an exaggeration. But, now that the new generation are taking over from the old guard, who had established their vineyards after Communism, Hungarian winemaking is taking on an energy and excitement which is moving the country forward. It is good to see this buzz attracting new, young wine writers such as Charine Tan and Matthew Horkey of Exotic Wine Travel."
- Elizabeth Gabay, Master of Wine and author of Rosé: Understanding the pink wine revolution
"Hungary is an exciting place to be right now in terms of wine (but for that matter, it has been an exciting part of the wine world for centuries, save for a few decades). As the birthplace of Tokaji aszú, one of the world’s finest and oldest sweet wines, the country has a serious wine pedigree, and it also has many diverse wine regions growing delicious indigenous varieties. But despite this history, much of the world has still not yet had the pleasure of experiencing Hungarian wine, as most of it is consumed within the country.
I can’t wait to see what Exotic Wine Travels produces in their deep dive into Hungarian wine, and hopefully, it will allow more wine-lovers to experience Hungarian wine (even if it just armchair drinking)."
- Carolyn Bánfalvi, Owner of Taste Hungary and Tasting Table Budapest, Author of Food Wine Budapest
"Exotic Wine Travel isn't just about finding exotic wines or places to talk about, but it's about getting to the root of the country and sharing what makes it an exciting wine destination to visit.
Hungary is one of those great and exciting wine countries to discover with a rich wine heritage that is often misunderstood or off-the-radar. I've really enjoyed following Matt and Charine's wine adventures so far and I have no doubt they'll throw some light onto the unique vinous offerings from Hungary and inspire us all to want to go there - and start drinking more Hungarian wine - soon!"
- Amanda Barnes, Contributor to Decanter and founder of Around The World In 80 Harvests
"Hungarian (the language) is beautiful, mysterious, unique. You really need a talented guide if you want to understand its nuances. Hungarian (the wines) are much the same and Matthew Horkey and Charine Tan are the perfect guides to help us rediscover this fascinating corner of the wine world."
- Mike Veseth - Wine Economist and the author of Wine Wars & Around the World in Eighty Wines.
STRETCH GOAL: Hardcover edition - 70K SGD (about 51 K USD)
Our books are designed to be field guides, built to be portable. Let's add to the durability by producing a hardcover edition of the book--only available to you, our biggest supporters backing this campaign.
Take this beautiful book with you when you visit the country and don't be afraid to beat it up thanks to the hardy cover. When you return home, it will fit perfectly on your bookshelf as a reminder of the great wines you tasted.
SUPER STRETCH GOAL: Help bring Discover Hungarian Wine to video - 95K SGD (about 69 K USD)
This is the super stretch goal, and we really want to make it happen: a beautifully shot video series on the wines of Hungary. An opportunity for you to see the most beautiful parts of the Hungarian wine world, to sense the wonder, and to feel inspired to visit Hungary as soon as possible.
Watch Discover Hungarian Wine come to life, literally. The late-Anthony Bourdain was our inspiration for creating the video series Cracking Croatian Wine, in which we brought the book of the same name to life. With your help, we can do it again. This time, for Hungarian wine.
Get to know the personalities, landscapes, and culture that make Hungarian wine. If we hit the stretch goal, we’ll produce a narrative, travelogue series that brings Hungarian wines to your screen. You’ll find a whole new appreciation of the bottle on your table after watching these videos.
We'll be partnering with Terroir Squad in Hungary to bring you brilliantly shot episodes that will open the world of Hungarian wine to you!
Who is Exotic Wine Travel?
Charine Tan (Singapore) and Matthew Horkey (USA) are the founders of Exotic Wine Travel, a platform that promotes lesser-known wine regions.
In 2015, the duo decided to immerse their lives into wine and started traveling around the world full-time.
In four years, they visited hundreds of wine regions in Armenia, Austria, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, France, Georgia, Germany, Hungary, Indonesia, Italy, Mexico, Moldova, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Portugal, Romania, Serbia, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Switzerland, Thailand, Turkey, and the USA. Each year, they sample an average of 5,000 wines. Out of the thousands of wine grape varieties in the world, they have tried nearly 400 of them.
The duo has authored three wine books together, and the most recent book, entitled “Cracking Croatian Wine”, received second place at the Gourmand Awards 2018 for “Best Wine & Spirits Tourism Book”.
Today, the Exotic Wine Travel platform has a total reach of around 45,000 active followers.
Discover Hungarian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide will be our fourth wine book and first Kickstarter. Our previous wine book Cracking Croatian Wine: A Visitor-Friendly Guide received 2nd place at the Gourmand Awards 2018 for “Best Wine & Spirits Tourism Book” and was reviewed favorably on a number of websites including JancisRobinson.com.
Where will the Kickstarter money go?
"Discovery Hungarian Wine" will be our fourth wine book, and we want it to be the best one yet.
1. Kickstarter will receive close to 10% of the funds raised.
2. The biggest expense will be the printing and shipping of books to pledgers like you. This expense is estimated to cost close to 40% of the goal.
3. We will definitely have to hire a designer and an editor. We may also have to hire a photographer or buy photographs. (The Hungarian Tourism Agency has agreed to let us use some of their photos, which are shown throughout this page.)
4. For the larger rewards like dinner and day tours, there are costs involved including local transport, food, organization, and extras. Basically, we will have to pay our local suppliers. We don't live in Hungary full time, so part of those reward fees will go towards our travel and accommodation to be with you during those experiences.
5. The rest of the funds raised will largely go towards our research process while in Hungary. Exotic Wine Travel is our main occupation. We will be putting all of our time to this project and the extra fund will help to pay for transport, drivers, local guides/translators, and tasting/event fees. Note that Hungary has a STRICT zero-tolerance driving policy.
6. If we reach the super stretch goal to produce a video series on "Discover Hungarian Wine", the additional budget will fully go into the shooting, production, post-production including translation, and logistics (transport, driver, shooting crew, etc.) related to the series. Note that Hungary has a STRICT zero-tolerance driving policy.
Thank you for making this happen, and for spreading the word
Let’s support the vinous underdogs and build a worldwide community of Hungarian wine lovers. Please share this project using the hashtag #discoverhungarianwine and tag us at:
Find us on YouTube: youtube.com/c/exoticwinetravel
Read our work: exoticwinetravel.com
Risks and challenges
Exotic Wine Travel is our full-time job. We'll be able to dedicate the maximum amount of time to ensure that this project is the best that it can be. We are location independent and spend as much time in Hungary as possible to capture the essence of the wine culture.
We are NOT commissioned to write this book. The funding will come entirely from this Kickstarter campaign and other pre-order outlets. You can be assured that it's our non-biased take on Hungarian wine. We've put years of our lives into this book. If the Kickstarter goal is not reached, the book will not be published.
In 2017, we spent six weeks in the country visiting cellars and tasting. Last year we spent eight weeks in the country, this year seven weeks, and in 2020 we'll be In Hungary four-six months as we finish up the research and writing.
We've been working on the research, tasting, and writing out sections of this book for the last two and a half years. After publishing our previous book "Cracking Croatian Wine", we knew right away that Hungarian wine would be the theme of our next book, but a book about Hungarian wine would need a lot of research time.
This will be our fourth wine book, so we're familiar with the challenges that may arise. Here's a timeline we're working towards
December '19 - June '20: Shooting additional photos, research, writing
June - July '20: Editing and text revisions
August '20: Layout and design
September '20: Proofs and Printing
October '20: Books delivered for signature
November '20: All copies sent out directly to you
There are still risks that may cause delay including:
1. Illustrated books can cause long lead times. There may be problems with layout, printing, or color that could take weeks to resolve.
2. Editing text can cause problems with the layout and design of the book. In our past books, just changing a few characters threw off pages of work. This can throw off the designer who may have to change the entire structure of the layout.
3. We are self-employed, not part of a large company. That means all the responsibility falls on us. If there were to be a major illness or crisis, it could set the project back weeks or months. We genuinely hope this doesn't happen (for our sake and yours), however, it is worth mentioning.
4. We have set the book rewards to include shipping to anywhere in the world. But if you live in a far-flung location and want more than one book, it's better to ask before pledging.
5. For the rewards that require us to all come together in Hungary, such as dinner and day trips. We travel full-time and have flexibility but do not live in Hungary the whole year-round. If you select this reward, we hope that you will understand the limitation, but we will work with you to make sure the dates are convenient for you.Learn about accountability on Kickstarter
- All gone!