For a while there it wasn’t certain that there would be a summer at Lake Balaton, but Hungary’s great getaway has gradually reopened since May. True, a little differently, a little slower and keeping its distance, but you can still enjoy clinking glass on a terrace, sipping champagne and sampling award-winning beach food. Here are six great tips!
Clink glasses on a wine terrace
Putting the world to rights over a glass or two of wine while taking in the view is essential to any Balaton summer. Panoramic terraces dot the lakeside and, in addition to the wine selection, you can enjoy quality food, tastings and other special events. Here are a few recent suggestions.
Discover a new winery
In addition to the large-scale wineries long established on the Hungarian market, young bucks are constantly springing up on the scene. You can also get to know the new ones at a contemporary wine bar (the Pláne Badacsony Borterasz, the Zelna Borbár és Vinotéka), but you can round out the experience with a personal tasting. We recommend the Kékajtó Winery and Estate in Köröshegy and the Négy80 in Badacsony.
Sample Balaton champagne
More and more wineries are making bubbly these days. Our editorial team has been able to try out the champagnes of 2HA, the Bujdosó Pincészet, the Bencze Családi Bortok, the Istvándy Pincészet, the Garamvár Szőlőbirtok and the natural champagnes of PANK on various wine terraces, but there is no stopping this trend: expect to see a lot of sparkling Laposa this summer.
Try this year’s hillside wines
HegyBorok, hillside wines, are an essential genre in the canon of Balaton wines. Italian Rieslings are selected on the basis of a strict screening process, their grapes only coming from specific types of vineyards. More full-bodied, more percussive wines, they are recommended by their producers for evening meals, cooler days or long conversations.
Devour award-winning beach food
With competition extraordinarily strong in 2019, this year it’s time to sample the award-winning dishes in our beach food competition: the sour cucumber soup of the Tiki Beach Bisztró in Zamárdi, Port Burger’s beef ciabatta in Balatonmáriafürdő and the Tex-Mex salad at the Málna büfé in Balatonlelle. Of course, do check out if these are still available – and keep your social distance while you savour!
Savour artisanal cheese
During the shutdown, more and more people decided to order food from producers instead of queuing up in supermarkets. You can carry on this fine tradition into the summer as well, and purchase it from cheese makers, either in person or from markets. Check out Bácshegyi Sajtműhely and Vászolyi Sajtmanufaktúra.