FurmintUSA creates a buzz with U.S. marketing blitz

FurmintUSA conducted a marketing blitz this spring in New York City, Washington, D.C., San Francisco and Los Angeles, showcasing Hungary’s signature white grape, Furmint.
The first shipment of 1,000 cases of dry Furmint wines from nine Hungarian wineries arrived in February. The wineries included Barta Winery, Basilicus Winery, Gróf Degenfeld Winery, Erzsébet Cellar, Kvaszinger Winery, Majoros Estate, Béres Estate, Holdvölgy Winery, and Szent Donát Estate. During March and April, winemakers met with members of the wine trade in a whirlwind promotional tour, pouring 17 wines at over 20 wine tastings and seminars on both the East and West Coasts.
The FurmintUSA marketing campaign has generated a considerable buzz about the unique quality of dry wines made from the indigenous Furmint grape. “We are thrilled to introduce these wines to the U.S. so that wine lovers can embark on an amazing journey tasting the nuanced aromas and clean, concentrated flavors of these top quality wines,” said László Bálint, AIWS, Director of Operations and educator for FurmintUSA.
“Building the dry Furmint brand into something that is unique, vibrant and authentic is exciting,” said Bálint. Having returned from a recent visit to Hungary’s Tokaji region, Alder Yarrow of commented, “The post-Cold-War rebirth of the Hungarian wine industry as a whole, and the Tokaj region specifically, has been the result of success with making dry table wines from the grape long responsible for the region’s unique sweet wines… more and more producers are making what were once rare versions of dry Furmint.”
Accompanied by Mr. Bálint, a group of winemakers, Attila Homonna (winemaker, Barta Winery), Miklós Prácser (winemaker, Erzsébet Cellar) and Natália Demkó (owner, Holdvölgy Winery) showcased their multi-faceted Furmint wines on the East Coast at restaurants and VIP tastings at the historic Hungarian House in New York and the Hungarian Embassy in Washington, D.C.
The promotional campaign continued on the West Coast with another team of winemakers: Tamás Kovács (Szent Donát Winery), Dávid Regéczy-Béres (Béres Winery) and Sándor Zsurki (Degenfeld Winery), along with Balázs Humayer, Project Director for FurmintUSA. Tastings at the Hungarian consulates in San Francisco and Los Angeles, and wine presentations at Cal Poly Pomona and Napa Valley Wine Academy, introduced their wines to VIP’s, sommeliers and wine students.
Excitement for dry Furmint wines will continue to build through the rest of this year. Attendees at the 2016 Food & Wine Classic in Aspen on July 17-19, and TEXSOM on August 13-15, will have the opportunity to taste the wines for the first time. In October, FurmintUSA is planning a trade visit to the Tokaji region of Hungary. Then at the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival on November 13-19, festival-goers will experience the different styles and taste the varied flavors of the dry Furmint wines. At 2016 SommCon San Diego on November 16-19, Master Sommelier Peter Granoff will introduce dry Furmint during a presentation of “Hungarian Furmint: Ancient Grape, Modern Wines.”
Dry Furmint wines are now available in New York City at Manhattan Flatiron Wines, Brooklyn Corkscrew, and Brix in New York’s East Village, and restaurants Amuse Wine Bar in Manhattan and River Styx Restaurant in Brooklyn. In the San Francisco area the wines may be found at the San Francisco Ferry Plaza Wine Merchant and at Napa’s Oxbow Wine and Cheese Market.
East Coast distribution is through Palinkerie Fine Hungarian Imports, a New York-based company specializing in fine wines from Hungary. West Coast distribution for three wineries in the FurmintUSA portfolio, Béres, Grof Degenfeld and Szent Donát, is through San Francisco-based Swirl Wine Brokers.