Hungary: Climate

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

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Hungary’s climate is essentially continental and Central European, involving fairly predictably cold winters and hot summers. The relatively northerly latitude (on a par with Burgundy) makes it ideally situated to produce aromatic and semi-aromatic varieties such as Sauvignon Blanc and Gewurztraminer, while its continentality allows full ripening of such red varieties as Cabernet Sauvignon, especially in the south. The sun shines for a high average of about 2,000 hours a year, and the total heat summation (see climate classification) during the vegetative ripening period is approximately 2,500 °C. Prolonged, sunny autumns which favour the development of noble rot are by no means rare, however. The largely volcanic hills are particularly well adapted to white-wine production.