The Sopron wine region is one of the oldest wine growing regions in Hungary. The wine growing and wine making culture in this region started with the Celts and the ancient Romans. Located in the far western region of the Carpathian Basin, near the border of Austria, the Sopron wine region produces similar wines to Austria's Neusiedlersee-Hugelland wine region. Cool summers and mild, often windy winters create a sub-Alpine climate ideal for growing elegant reds like Kékfrankos. In fact Kékfrankos accounts for 60% of all the plantings in the region and Sopron is also known as "the capital of Blue Frankish". Kékfrankos was named after the blue color of the French currency used in the beginning of the 19th century when Napoleon’s troops occupied the city.
A unique characteristic of the Sopron wine region is that the wine cellars here are built beneath houses located within city limits and not in the hillside. Traditionally this was done to provide protection and ensure the safety of the winemakers. People living in the region have always had strong ties to grapes and wine making and most have vineyards and produce wine. It is customary to tie white and/or red ribbons to the gates of the local cellars to indicate the type of wine available for sale.
Kékfrankos (Blue Frankish) accounts for 60% of all the plantings. Other varieties grown here include Zweigelt, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Portugieser and Sauvignon Blanc.
Wine Tourism & Sights
Sopron has a long history with some walls and foundations dating back to Roman times. A wealth of Medieval, Renaissance and Baroque buildings lend Sopron its charming, small-town look. The main square with the Fire Watch Tower dating back to the 12th century is definitely worth a visit. The city received its nickname as ‘The most loyal town’ when after WWI the locals voted for Sopron to remain a part of Hungary instead of becoming a part of Austria.
Getting there from Budapest
By car Sopron is about a two-and-half-hour drive from Budapest. Take highway M1 until exit 129. Continue on route 85 towards Sopron. Buses leave from the Népliget bus terminal and the ride takes a little less than four hours. Trains leave from Budapest Keleti Railway Station.