Furmint: The Grape with Momentum
FurmintUSA Continues to Attain Recognition for Dry Furmint Wines in the U.S. Market
(Budapest, Hungary) – Tokaji wine has long enjoyed a high-class reputation (King Louis XIV called it “the wine of kings and the king of wines”). Now dry versions, moderately priced, aromatic, and complex, have positively captured the imagination and palates of American wine drinkers.
Two years ago, FurmintUSA began captivating the U.S. market with a campaign to promote Hungarian wines made from the indigenous dry Furmint grape. FurmintUSA’s success draws well-deserved attention both nationally and internationally to this important Tokaj grape variety. Upholding their momentum, the Hungarian government fortuitously declared 2017 the Year of Furmint.
“Our goal is to constantly spellbind U.S. wine consumers with specialties from Hungary, the home of the world’s first closed wine appellation on record: Tokaj, 1737. We strongly believe that Hungarian wine – and Furmint in particular – is on track to becoming a key participant in the U.S. wine market,” says László Bálint dip. WSET, director of operations at FurmintUSA.
Over the past two years Hungarian winemakers, under the FurmintUSA marketing initiative, have hosted more than 70 tastings in over nine states. FurmintUSA wines have also consistently achieved high recognition in wine competitions and scoring publications. Earlier this year, winemakers completed their latest round of bi-coastal promotional roadshows on the East Coast (New York, New Jersey, Washington D.C., Maryland and Virginia), and on the West Coast (California). A new shipment arrived on the West Coast in July 2017, and dry Furmint wines are now widely available in nine U.S. states.
Excitement for dry Furmint wines escalated throughout 2016. FurmintUSA held tastings in March and August at the Hungarian consulates in San Francisco, Chicago and Los Angeles. Wine presentations were held in April at Cal Poly Pomona, Napa Valley Wine Academy, and San Francisco Wine School, introducing dry Furmint wines to VIPs, sommeliers and wine students. This success followed awards FurmintUSA garnered in 2016 at the Sunset International Wine Competition in May, with Best of Class and Gold medal for Barta 2013 Furmint Szamorodni Oreg Kiraly Dulo, and a Gold medal for Béres 2011 Dry Furmint, Lőcse. Wines from seven other wineries in the portfolio won eight Bronze medals.
In July 2016, attendees at the Aspen Food & Wine Classic, and the TEXSOM conference in August, had the opportunity to taste the wines for the first time. In October, FurmintUSA hosted a trade visit to the Tokaji region of Hungary. Then at the San Diego Bay Wine + Food Festival in November, festival-goers experienced the different styles and varied flavors of the dry Furmint wines. In November, at the 2016 SommCon San Diego, Master Sommelier Tim Gaiser introduced dry Furmint during a master class on “Hungarian Furmint: Ancient Grape, Modern Wines.”
This year FurmintUSA continued its successful momentum by winning numerous awards at the TEXSOM International Wine Awards. Holdvölgy 2013 Vision won the “Judges’ Selection Hungarian Wine” and a Gold medal. Silver medals were awarded to Barta 2013 Öreg Király Furmint and Kvaszinger 2013 Estate Furmint. Additionally, five Bronze medals were awarded to Gróf Degenfeld 2015 Dry Furmint, Gróf Degenfeld 2015 Zomborka Furmint, Erzsébet Pince 2012 Estate Furmint, Majoros Deák 2013 Furmint, and St. Donat 2015 Márga Furmint.
In April 2017, winemakers Dávid Regéczy-Béres (Béres Winery), Sándor Zsurki (Gróf Degenfeld Winery) joined Balazs Humayer at the Wine & Spirits Wholesalers of America (WSWA) 74th Annual Convention & Exposition in Orlando, Florida. Together the group had an opportunity to meet with potential distributors and key accounts, and to showcase a selection of wines from the FurmintUSA portfolio.
Wine Enthusiast’s May 2017 issue gave FurmintUSA’s wines significant recognition with scores up to 93 points. Béres 2007 Aszú Puttonyos garnered 93 points, Barta 2013 Öreg Király Dulo Mád Furmint scored 91 points, and three other wineries scored 90 points (Béres 2015 Lőcse Vineyard Estate Bottled Dry Selection Furmint; Gróf Degenfeld 2015 Zomborka Furmint; and Kvaszinger 2015 Hatalos Furmint).
Most recently, FurmintUSA’s Barta Winery won the Best Furmint Award, Double Gold medal with 95 points for their 2015 Furmint, Király, Oreg, Dulo Mad at the 2017 San Francisco International Wine Competition. Somlói Vándor 2015 Furmint, Grófi dűlő Nagy-Somló also won a Double Gold medal, with 94 points. Six other wineries in the FurmintUSA portfolio won three Gold medals [Erzsébet 2015 Furmint Estate, Pince Zafír (92 points); Kvaszinger 2015 Furmint, Hatalos (91 points); Béres 2015 Furmint, Lőcse (90 points)], and six Silver medals (St. Donát 2015 Furmint, Márga, Balatonfüred-Csopak; Béres 2016 Furmint Estate; Gróf Degenfeld 2015 Furmint, Zomborka; Gróf Degenfeld 2015 Furmint; Slopes Winery 2015 Dry Furmint; and Serpens 2016 White Blend Dry).
In recognition of the growing popularity of Furmint, four FurmintUSA wines have been selected for presentation at the prestigious TEXSOM Conference on August 12 -14. Somlói Vándor 2015 Furmint, Erzsébet Cellar 2015 Estate Furmint, Kvaszinger 2015 Hatalos Furmint 2015, and Holdvölgy 2013 Vision will be poured at seminars led by distinguished Master Sommeliers and Masters of Wine from around the country.
FurmintUSA’s portfolio of wines is available through MHW Ltd., in New York they are distributed through Palinkerie Fine Hungarian Imports , in D.C., Maryland and Virginia are distributed through Georgian Wine House .
California distribution for five wineries in the FurmintUSA portfolio, Béres, Grof Degenfeld, Erzsébet, Majoros and Szent Donát, is through San Francisco-based Swirl Wine Brokers . FurmintUSA wines are now available through distribution in Oklahoma from Thirst Wine Merchants.
Founded in 2014, FurmintUSA is an educational campaign to promote dry Furmint wines from the Tokaj region. FurmintUSA strongly believes that dry Furmints are Hungary’s flagship dry white wines. More information about FurmintUSA is available on their website, on YouTube and Facebook .