Lake Balaton: Badacsony vineyards

When better to write throwback posts about recent holidays, than on red-eye flights, or stranded at airports?

Our trip to Lake Balaton, and its most well known wine region, Badacsony was pure late August bliss. Late summer lakeside Hungary is quaint and simple. We spent four days there with few plans made ahead of time, and I could easily go back for as long again.

As a teen, I desperately hated holidays on the lake. I guess that had to do with not having much say in how I’d spend my time, year on year being confined to the same tiny cottage and garden, about a hundred square meters, every inch of the place boring as hell. There wasn’t much to do there to fill a single day, let alone ten. As soon as I was old enough, I threw tantrums and demanded to be left home to house-sit and feed the cat and swore off Lake Balaton altogether.

Not sure what changed for me — perhaps just hearing about the beauty of other parts of the lake (it’s a big one!), or learning to love wine? I still couldn’t spend ten days in one place there I don’t think, but it was the perfect short getaway. Warm days, excessive meals, counting rows of grapes in vineyards, a rainbow sunset as wide as the horizon.

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If you’re in the area, Laposa Borbirtok is definitely worth a visit: they have the most stunning views, and a dozen excellent takes on riesling, and even some kéknyelű, a grape local to the area ever since roman times that’s having its renaissance. Try and time your visit for late afternoon, choose the tasting option with the most wines (be prepared, you have to like riesling!), and hang around until the glorious sunset colour. Go slow, it’s so worth it.

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Visiting again is probably not a question of if for me, it’s a when. So many other Hungarian wine regions to visit, but there’s something about that wide stretch of green-blue water, the sails of so many boats lighting up orange in the sunset, that will have me return to Badacsony again and again.

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Lake Balaton: Badacsony vineyards
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