Sparkling Wines – Hungary – Luxembourg

Sparkling Wines - Hungary - Luxembourg

Hungary

The history of Pezsgő, Hungarian sparkling wine, dates back to the early 19th century when the first sparkling wine cellars were established near Pozsony, now Bratislava in Slovakia, by Johann Fischer and Dr. Michael Schönbauer in 1825. This made them the first in Central Europe, followed by Esch és Társa in 1835. Later, Buda and Budafok became the main center for sparkling wine production, known as the “Hungarian Champagne,” which still operates today.

By the late 19th century, the two most important sparkling wine cellars belonged to József Törley és Társa, who moved from Reims (France) to Budafok in 1882, and Louis és César-François, established in 1886. Since then, the Hungarian wine industry has experienced a revival after the Soviet era. New and established cellars are exploring their forgotten roots to produce sparkling wines.

To produce Pezsgő, most Hungarian cellars use the closed tank and transfer methods, while a small but growing number use the Champagne method. The grape varieties used include both international varieties such as Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Riesling, Muscat Ottonel, and Muscat de Lunel, as well as indigenous varieties such as Olaszrizling, Kékfrankos, Furmint, Királyleányka, Hárslevelű, Kéknyelű, and Juhfark.

In summary, the history of Pezsgő dates back to the early 19th century in Slovakia before Buda and Budafok became the main center for the “Hungarian Champagne” production. Currently, most Hungarian cellars use closed tank and transfer methods to produce sparkling wines, using a variety of grape varieties, both international and indigenous.

Luxembourg

Luxembourg is a wine region located in the Moselle River valley and is known for the production of white wines, although there are also some interesting red and rosé wines. Among Luxembourg’s most outstanding sparkling wines is the Crémant de Luxembourg, made using the traditional method used in champagne production.

Crémant de Luxembourg is known for its high quality and is mainly produced from white grapes such as Riesling, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Gris, Auxerrois, Chardonnay, and Pinot Noir. This wine is characterized as dry, fresh, and fruity, with a notable balance between acidity and sweetness.

To obtain the “Crémant de Luxembourg” label, the wine must meet strict quality requirements established by the European Union. These requirements include manual grape harvesting and a second fermentation in the bottle for at least nine months.

Crémant de Luxembourg is produced in different wine regions of Luxembourg, such as the Moselle Luxembourgeoise region, the Upper Moselle region, and the Sauer Valley region. Some of the most prominent cellars and producers of Crémant de Luxembourg are Caves Bernard-Massard, Domaine Alice Hartmann, and Domaine Viticole Schumacher-Knepper.

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