Once virtually unknown on U.S. shores, dry Furmint varietal wines, which are related to the popular sweet Tokaji wines from Hungary, continue to gain awareness in the United States thanks to the FurmintUSA marketing campaign.
Hungarian Furmint started gaining widespread attention on U.S. shores at the end of 2014 through the FurmintUSA campaign, an educational and brand building promotion supported by the European Union (EU) and Hungarian Ministry of Agriculture. FurmintUSA is dedicated to acquainting the American market with the impressive and unique quality of dry wines made from the indigenous Furmint grape.
During the last week of October 2015, US wine experts were invited to visit the Tokaj region to taste dry Furmint wines and observe the winemaking process. Among the visitors were Peter Granoff MS and Debbie Zachareas, co-owners of Ferry Plaza Wine Merchants in San Francisco and Oxbow Wine Merchants in Napa; Scott Harper MS, Managing Partner, Corporate Wine & Beverage Director at Bristol Bar and Grille; Paul Wagner, President of Balzac Communications & Marketing, and co-host of radio show Bottle Talk with Rick & Paul; and Joe Roberts, freelance journalist and author of the award-winning wine blog 1WineDude.
“With their remarkable elegance and character, these dry Furmint wines are going to appeal to wine drinkers of all stripes,” said László Bálint, AIWS, Wine Supervisor and educator for FurmintUSA. “Today’s wine lovers are looking for new and intriguing wines, and Furmint is a perfect choice with so many of the foods we eat today.”
In addition, Bálint announced a strategic partnership with Palinkerie Fine Hungarian Imports, a New York-based company specializing in fine wines from Hungary, to distribute dry Furmint wines on the United States market from the first quarter of 2016. Finally, new episodes of Furmint Adventures, a video series by Joe Roberts, are expected to arrive in the coming weeks.
Furmint wines, produced in Hungary’s Tokaj region, an area historically famed for sweet wines, are top quality wines exciting wine lovers with nuanced aromas and clean, concentrated flavors. While they are delicious on first release, fine structure allows them to develop greater complexity with age.