The territory of the region according to the local vineyard register is 6445 ha
The total area of the mountain village members owning more than 500m2 vineyard is 2143 ha
The wine region consists of 24 villages and settlements
The wine region lays in the North Eastern part of the Balaton on the side of the hills laying between Balatonalmádi and Zánka, by the vallyes and basins surrounded by the hills. Some of the main villages in the area are: Felsőörs, Lovas, Paloznak, Tihany, Balatonszőlős and Szentantalfa. Some settlements are also considered as part of this wine region such as Balatonkenese, Balatonfőkajár and Balatonvilágos.
The region is free from any extreme climate characteristics. The mild winter is followed by an early spring while the summer is not too hot, followed by long serene and dry autumn. It is often said that the sunlight reflecting from the lake’s surface affects the good quality of the grapes.
The soil is very diverse. There are soil types like phyllite slate, Permian red sandstone, Triassic limestone, dolomite, basalt, basaltic, Pannonian sand, marl, loess based rendzina and forest soils that are found here. A specific sight is that the soil is unusually red.
The most valuable wine grape of the region is the Riesling, its wine is greenish yellow colored, mignonette scented, in its taste the region’s typical bitter almond aftertaste is dominant. After a few years the wine gets a secondary plum scent. The Riesling of Balatonfüred is usually softer and smoother, while the Riesling of Csopak is more acid-rich and more intense great quality wine thus becoming a well known brand in the last 150 years. This region is also the home of many other types like: Chardonnay, Riezling of Rajna, Sauvignon blanc, Juhfark, Pinot blanc, Zenit, Tramini, Pinot gris, Ottonej, Muscat, Rizlingszilváni, Kékfrankos, Merot and Zweigelt.
Wine growing was presumably getting more and more popular during the reign of emperor Probus although it has been dating back to earlier times also. The ruins of Urbana manor found in Baláca puszta date back to the II- III. century. Ornaments of grapes and also wall paintings of vintage scenes were found here.
After the Settlement of the Magyars in this area Karkász tribes occupied this region. According to possessory register of 1082 the bishop of Veszprém had vineyards in Csopak. In 1211 the town of Balatonfüred became the property of the Tihany Abbey. Thanks to the monks and the priests grape and wine production was booming and ahead of its time by several decades.
During the era of the Turk invasion due to the battles in the country the number of wine growers has plummeted and the area of vineyards has also decreased.
In the XVIIIth century the region started to boom again and by the mid XIXth century Balatonfüred became the ‘capital’ of Balaton where the socialite of the country came together during balls and other feasts drinking fine white wines.
Nowadays Balatonfüred is still the center of this region on the northern coast of Lake Balaton and it has been the’ International Town of Grape and Wine’. The ‘Borhetek’ (Wine week) is a traditional annual feast being held in August since 1932 almost every year. It is a marvelous spectacle where the local wine-growers showcase and sell their best wines on the beautiful Tagore promenade. It is a fair with Folklore and local artists and entertaining programs every evening for all visitors.
The certified wine road stops of ‘Csopak és Környéke’ wine road association, ‘Balatonfüred és Környéke’ wine road association, ‘Dörgicse és környéke’ wine road association, ‘Zánka-Nivegy-völgyi’ wine road association offer quality wine tasting and shopping opportunities. The true culture of wine drinking is preserved by the Balatonvin wine order.