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Grown throughout Hungary, Austria, Slovakia, Slovenia, Croatia, Romania, and Russia, furmint is a white wine grape. Its largest concentration is in Hungary, where it’s been thriving since the late 16th century, particularly in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region where the grape is used to make Tokaj dessert wines. About 60 percent of the grapes grown in Tokaj-Hegyalja are furmint, adding up to about 10,000 acres.

To make dessert wines, furmint is harvested late in the season, usually between late October and early January. The grapes are picked once noble rot appears, resulting in a sweet quality on the palate. Furmint is also used to make single-varietal dry white wines.

Furmint is quick to bloom in the spring, which makes the grapes vulnerable to frost. It has also been found that furmint grapes are hearty and able to tolerate extreme drought.

Quick Facts

  • Hungary’s national anthem alludes to Tokaj grapes. Beethoven and Voltaire have also referenced the wine in their works
  • There are small numbers of furmint plantings in the Russian River American Viticultural Area of Sonoma County, California
  • In 1730, Tokaj was the first in the world to establish and regulate appellations for wine regions

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