Szekszárd's champions of local grapes

Heimann family in vineyard

Going crazy about Kadarka and Kékfrankos in southern Hungary …

Szekszárd, pronounced, rather memorably, ‘sex-sard’, is one of Hungary’s red-wine regions. This small county, with its 2,153 ha (5,320 acres) of vineyard, lies almost directly south of Budapest on the Transdanubian Hills, around 70 km (43 miles) from both the Serbian and Croatian borders.

Drone view of the valleys of Szekszárd
A panoramic view of the wine valleys of Szekszárd (photo by Hirling Bálint)

Here, on loess and clay and in the right hands, Kékfrankos (aka Blaufränkisch) and Kadarka make increasingly elegant wines as the local producers rediscover their indigenous grape varieties. In this terroir, the acidity and more pronounced fruit of Kadarka gives a very different expression from Kadarka...