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FurmintUSA on Napa Valley Register

Tasting of Hungary’s dry furmint wines set

November 06, 2014 4:48 pm

Dry furmint wines from Hungary’s celebrated Tokaj region are now being promoted in the United States by the newly-formed group FurmintUSA.

As part of that promotional effort, a tasting of dry furmint wines is scheduled Saturday afternoon in Sonoma.

FurmintUSA is headed by Hungarian Balazs Humayer, a distant relative of Count Agoston Haraszthy, one of the key players in early California wine history and founder of Buena Vista Winery in Sonoma. FurmintUSA unites 12 leading dry Furmint producers for educational and promotion efforts in the USA.

While the indigenous Hungarian furmint grape is highly regarded as the major component in Tokaj’s luscious and distinguished Aszú wines, it is virtually unknown to wine lovers in the United States as a prestigious, dry varietal wine.

Beginning this month, FurmintUSA and its 12 member wineries are launching a website (www.furmintusa.com), a social media program, and a 12-part video blog, hosted by Joe Roberts of 1winedude.com.

Furmint USA is planning a number of tastings, the first of which is Nov. 8 from 3 to 5 p.m. in Sonoma.

The event is hosted by the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities Committee, formed in 2012. The committee has arranged for delegates from the Tokaj region to tour Sonoma for 11 days this month. As part of ongoing cultural and economic exchanges between the sister cities, these Sonoma activities include winery and vineyard tours, and visits to Sonoma civic institutions.

The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities Committee tasting will present two dozen different dry furmints from 12 Tokaj wineries, along with hors d’oeuvres, in the Sonoma Community Center, 276 East Napa St., Sonoma. Tickets are $25.

Wineries pouring Saturday afternoon include Balassa, Bardon, Barta Cellars, Bazilicus Vineyard, Erzsebet Cellars, Gizella Winery, Grof Degenfeld Vineyard, Kvaszinger, Majoros, Paulay Winehouse, Sauska-Tokaj and Tokaj-Hétszőlő.

“Some international opinion holds that furmint stands comparison with the world’s greatest varieties because it has the weight and structure of chardonnay, the fruitiness of chenin blanc, and the acidity and minerality of pinot gris and riesling,” says László Balint, wine authority who will lead the tasting Saturday. “Yet another reason to discover the remarkable dry wines from Hungary’s flagship white varietal.”

There are approximately 15,000 acres of furmint planted around the world, 50 percent of them in Tokaj.

To reserve tickets for Saturday’s tasting, call 707-938-0224 or visit CellarPass at cellarpass.com/tickets.

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