Fresh research: the Olaszrizling is the most popular wine from Lake Balaton

A visit to a winery or a wine tour is almost a “must” part of a holiday at Lake Balaton

According to a recent research, Olaszrizling, Szürkebarát and Kéknyelű are the most popular wines from Balaton. It seems that “wine programmes” are becoming an increasingly important part of a Balaton holiday: two thirds of respondents to an online questionnaire will go on at least one wine tasting, winery visit, wine tour or wine festival during their holiday.

Light taste and freshness – these are the two adjectives that most people think of when they think of Balaton wines, according to a recent survey by the Archbishop of Veszprém Winery. More than 1200 people filled in the questionnaire, which also included questions about the familiarity of Balaton wines, grape varieties and wine regions, and aspects of wine selection. Fifty-two per cent of them clearly see the Lake Balaton region as the home of dry wines, and about the same number mentioned the volcanic flavour as a characteristic of Balaton wines.

Of the six wine regions of the Balaton region – Badacsony, Balatonboglár, Balaton highlands Balatonfüred-Csopak, Somló and Zala – Badacsony is the most popular, with 41 percent of the survey participants preferring the wines of the wineries there. 23 percent voted for wines from the Balatonfüred-Csopak region and 15 percent for wines from the Balaton highlands.

The “ranking” of the most popular Balaton varietal wines is topped by Olaszrizling – almost 70 per cent of respondents prefer it – followed by Szürkebarát, Kéknyelű and Sauvignon Blanc. The majority of respondents not only buy Balaton wines, but also know the grape varieties grown in the region: 92% (correctly) consider Olaszrizling to be the most typical Balaton grape variety, but many also mentioned Rajnai Rizling and Sauvignon Blanc, which are also grown on a large area.

How do we choose the wines from Balaton?

The authors of the online survey also wanted to know how consumers choose among Balaton wines. According to the results, the most important aspect is the type of wine – whether it is white, rosé or red. Every second respondent prefers wines from the wineries they like best, 45% prefer the degree of dryness (sweet, semi-sweet, semi-dry, dry) and 42% also consider the wine region as an important factor when buying.

When asked about the most suitable occasions for Balaton wines, the majority of respondents mentioned gatherings with friends and family, and barbecues. Most of the respondents drink Balaton wines neat, only four out of ten of them make a fröccs. Wine cocktails, which are becoming increasingly popular abroad, do not yet have a large fan base at home, with barely 1% of respondents drinking them.

No holiday at Lake Balaton without a wine tasting?

It seems that “wine programmes” are increasingly becoming an integral part of a holiday in Balaton: two thirds of respondents enjoy wine tasting, winery visits, wine tours or festivals on holiday, and 33% of them attend more than one such programme. Among the wine festivals in Balaton, the most frequented ones were the Balatonfüred Wine Week, the Badacsony Wine Week and the Balaton Fish and Wine Festival in Balatonfüred.

The good news for wineries around Lake Balaton is that 94% of respondents like to drink Balaton wines not only on holiday, but also at other times of the year.

 About the survey

More than 1200 people completed the online questionnaire of the Archbishop of Veszprém Winery in June 2023, with a 50/50 split between men and women. 22% live in Budapest, 20% in Veszprém, 10% in Pest, and the rest in other counties. A third of the participants are aged 46-55, a quarter are aged 36-45 and 18% are aged 26-35. Almost all respondents drink wine, more than 45% several times a week, 20% once a week and 35% less often. 95 percent have tasted Balaton wine, and 80 percent know the Archbishop of Veszprém Winery.