Hungary Introduces the U.S. to its Premium Dry White Wines with Furmint USA Campaign – November 4, 2014

Hungary Introduces the U.S. to its Premium Dry White Wines with Furmint USA Campaign

Joe Roberts Furmint Video and Special Furmint Tasting November 8 in Sonoma, CA

November 4, 2014, Sonoma, CA—Dry Furmint wines from Hungary’s esteemed Tokaj region are now being promoted in the United States by the newly-formed group FurmintUSA.

FurmintUSA is headed by Hungarian Balazs Humayer, a distant relative of Count Agoston Haraszthy, one of the key players in early California wine history. 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 USA as a prestigious, dry varietal wine.

Beginning this month, FurmintUSA and its 12 member wineries are launching a website (, a social media program, and a twelve part video blog, hosted by blogger Joe Roberts of FURMINT USA will also participate in special Furmint tastings. The first such event is a dry Furmint tasting on November 8 (3-5 p.m.) in Sonoma, California.

Joe Roberts of introduces the tasting here in this video: Tasting with Joe Roberts of

Initial Tasting Event Sonoma, CA November 8th

The event is hosted by the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities Committee, formed in 2012 (described below). The committee has arranged for delegates from the Tokaj region to tour Sonoma for eleven 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 twenty-four different dry Furmints from twelve excellent Tokaj wineries, along with hors d’oeuvres, in Sonoma on November 8. Tickets are $25.

Hors d’oeuvres are provided by sponsors: Sonoma Whole Foods Market and Buena Vista Winery. Sonoma’s historic Buena Vista Winery was founded by the Hungarian, Agoston Haraszthy, who introduced hundreds of vine varieties to the U.S. following travels around Europe in the 1860s.

László BÁLINT AIWS, Wine Judge for the Borigo (wine magazine), and Instructor at Hungarian Wine College (the Hungarian WSET wine academy), will make a brief presentation on the wines.

“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 BÁLINT AIWS, “Yet another reason to discover the remarkable dry wines from Hungary’s flagship white varietal.”

The Tokaj wine region is a UNESCO World Heritage Site; its volcanic soils and continental climate yield exceptional dry and sweet wines.

In Tokaj, Furmint yields a wide array of dry wines: from crisp, fruity everyday wines to extraordinary single vineyard wines that rival the best white wines of Burgundy.

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

About Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities Association

The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities relationship was formed in 2012 and is fostered by a committee operating under the Sonoma Sister Cities Association. Since then, the committee has accomplished several objectives in promoting international friendship and achievements in citizen diplomacy. In November of 2011, a high level Hungarian government trade and tourism mission visited Buena Vista Winery, founded by the Hungarian Count Agoston Haraszthy in 1857. The Hungarians were hosted by Jean-Charles Boisset, owner of Buena Vista Winery, and the idea of forming a Sister City between Sonoma and Tokaj was enthusiastically embraced.

In April 2012, Sonoma and Tokaj became Sister Cities. In August 2012, on Haraszthy’s 200th birthday, an official delegation from Tokaj arrived in Sonoma. They were hosted by members of the Committee and by the gracious citizens of Sonoma. The agreement was officially signed at historic Buena Vista Winery, with great fanfare. The celebration continued the following day on Sonoma Plaza with a three hour cultural extravaganza, including dance, music, and theatrical performances (a bilingual play) to an audience of several hundred people.

In 2013, members of the Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities Committee visited Tokaj, where they toured wineries, civic institutions, and performed “The Count of Buena Vista” play at the Tokaj Wine and Food Festival.

In 2013, a wine studies student from Tokaj worked the crush at Buena Vista Winery. And, in October 2014, two wine students from Santa Rosa Junior College visited Tokaj, their trip sponsored by our committee. (It was planned and hosted by our counterpart, the Tokaj-Sonoma Association.) The students received credit for their study tour, which included active cellar work, WSET instruction on Hungarian wines, and winery visits.

The Sonoma-Tokaj Sister Cities Committee operates under the auspices of the Sonoma Sister Cities Association (SSCA), a registered nonprofit organization (Federal ID #68-0108056).

About FurmintUSA

Started this year, FurmintUSA is a promotional campaign to promote the dry Furmint wines from the Tokaj region. FurmintUSA strongly believes that the dry Furmint wines will be the flagship wine for Hungary in the future.

Published On: 11/04/2014
By: Press release