Author: Kristian Kielmayer, Ágnes Herczeg
It is probably an ancient Hungarian variety, which ampelographers also mention with the name of Zöld Szőlő (Green Grape). Most literature, in reference to its name, presupposes its origin as Buda, since viticulture once flourished on the Buda side of Budapest in the surrounding hills. It is most likely that the variety found its way to the Balaton from here later.
Its leaves are medium-sized, regular and five-lobed, with moderately large clusters and medium-sized berries. It is characterised by early budburst and is a relatively high-yielding variety. Like Rózsakő, it is mentioned as a pollinator of Kéknyelű in the Badacsony wine district.
There are only 6 hectares of the variety and these are essentially located on the northern shore of Lake Balaton. Badacsony, with 5 hectares, is home to the most serious plantings. Records show that phylloxera had already reached Buda’s vineyards prior to the 1870s.
In Badacsony, it is has not only become a variety aiding pollination, but some producers also bottle Buda Zöld both in blends and as a monovarietal. Certainly, it feels right at home in the volcanic basalt soil and the temperate climate.
The variety generally produces fresh, light, simple white wines. These wines are characterised by notes of green and yellow apple, crisp acidity, light to medium body and alcohol. They are lean, lively, tight, dry, everyday wines. Their aromas are relatively neutral, somewhat like those produced by Kéknyelű.
Budai Zöld is a crisp, light, everyday wine, typically popular during the warm, sunny months, i.e. from early spring to late autumn. The variety boasts plenty of attractive green apple notes, but is certainly not overpoweringly aromatic, making it pleasant and refreshing to drink on its own. Its flavours are somewhat light and neutral, so it’s best paired with dishes with similarly restrained flavours. Choose the latest vintage and consume it as soon as possible to enjoy its fresh, crisp style at its best. Always store in a cool place, away from sunlight and heat, to best preserve its fragile aromatics. Serve straight from the fridge at about 8-10°C in a tulip-shaped white wine glass. Ingredients that best match the flavour and texture of wines made from Budai Zöld include lettuce, cucumber, peas, broccoli, cauliflower, fennel, radishes, citrus fruit, light cow’s cheeses, chicken, turkey and non-oily white fish. Roasted and steamed vegetables, light vegetable soups and vegetable stews generally go well with it, although a chilled cucumber cream soup, turkey breast with vegetables or a broccoli or cauliflower gratin would be perfect in the summer heat too.