Badacsony wine region is one of the oldest in Hungary: grapes were cultivated before the Roman Empire. It is located in the North coast of Lake Balaton in Veszprém county. Nowadays, the wine region contains 1600 hectares. The quality of wines is fundamentally influenced by the basalt-based lands and the sub-Mediterranean climate.
Millions of years ago there were heavy volcanic activity deeply in the Pannon Sea which filled Balaton-Highlands those times. The most famous volcanic hills of the region are Badacsony, Szent György Hill, Csobánc, Gulács, Tóti Hill, Haláp and also the Somló Hill, Kis-Somló and the Ság Hill (which contains the Somló wine region). These hills all have a common soil composition: the basic rock of these hills is basalt, on which the fine-grained layers of sand and clay of the Pannon Sea washed for thousands of years. The brown forest soil of the Badacsony vineyards evolved on these formations. The easily crumbling volcanic stone of a basic character, potassium, magnesium and calcium and especially the microelements disengaging from the basalt all contribute to the production of special wine qualities. The basalt-based lands guarantee full bodied, fiery character, rich flavour and minerality of the wines.
The temperature balancing effect caused by the water of Lake Balaton (the largest lake in Central Europe), and the additional heat storage of the basalt caps. The heat reflected back to the hills by the water surface all add up to the most intensive radiation in the country.
The phylloxera plague at the end of the 19. century caused significant damage to Badacsony wine region. Following the plague the wine yards were modernized and new varieties were introduced such as Olaszrizling, which is the main variety nowadays (approx. 50%). White: Olaszrizling, Rajnai rizling, Rizlingszilváni, Pinot gris, Muscat ottonel, Tramini, Sauvignon blanc, Pinot blanc, Chardonnay and some Badacsony-specific varieties: Kéknyelű, Budai zöld, Rózsakő, Vulcanus, Zeus. Red: Merlot, Kékfrankos, Pinot noir, Cabernet sauvignon, Cabernet franc, Syrah, Zweigelt.