the tiniest wine region in Hungary (300 hectares)
special volcanic soil – black basalt on bedrock and top with loess, clay and sand
this wine had positive effects on everything from anemia and paralysis, legend said.
the smokiest, most fiery white wines in the world
Juhfark has flavors of lemon, smoke and wheat, with mineral-driven intensity.
About This Wine Region:
Top Wines: Juhfark
Soils: Volcanic soils with loess, clay and sand
Nagy Somló is Hungary’s tiniest wine region, but its wines are possibly the most fascinating in Hungary. Somló is only 300 hectares (741 acres), located on an extinct volcanic butte about 90 miles west of Budapest. The bedrock is black basalt, the remnant of ancient lava flows, and above it lies a topsoil with loess, clay and sand. The unique terroir makes some of the smokiest, most fiery white wines in the world.
For centuries, people believed that the volcanic Somló wines had positive effects on everything from anemia and paralysis. In fact, legend has it that aristocrats and monarchs sent fertile women there to drink the wine, believing that the wine’s overpowering masculinity would lead them to beget a male heir.
While all the wines produced on Somló are remarkably volcanic, the Juhfark (“you-fark”) deserves special mention. Grown only on the volcanic soils of Somló, Juhfark–or “sheep’s tail” in Hungarian,–makes white wines that are ashy, savory and fierce. The wines have flavors of lemon, smoke and wheat, with mineral-driven intensity. While Juhfark’s effects on health (and masculinity) have yet to be proven, its uniqueness makes it a coveted bottle among wine geeks. Juhfark is best after it’s had some time to mellow out in the bottle, when it begins to show a golden, savory richness and express more citrus fruit. Retail is between $25–$30.