Author: Kristian Kielmayer, Ágnes Herczeg
Probably an ancient Carpathian Basin or Transylvanian variety, the result of a natural crossing between Kövérszőlő and Leányka. Leányka was likely already known as an ancient Transylvanian variety, but there were some uncertainties about its other parent. Contradictions can be found regarding its synonym too; while many mention it as being synonymous with Feteasca Regala, English language writers and statistical sources refute this and treat Feteasca Regala and Királyleányka as separate varieties. It received state authorisation in Hungary in the 1970s.
It is used to make appealing monovarietal wines and also works well in blends. Királyleányka usually produces light wines with fresh, delicate perfume and notes reminiscent of grape blossom and sugar. It is rarely matured in oak.
It has open, round leaves, small, stocky clusters and round berries. It is medium-ripening variety. Its restrained aromatics and fresh acidity make it a good blending base.
Királyleányka is cultivated on 915 hectares in Hungary. There are 286 hectares in the Balatonboglár and 90 in the Tolna wine district. Proportionately, it is the most cultivated variety in the Balatonboglár wine district, but a few hectares of it can be found in almost every wine region.
It produces fresh, light, fruity wines in its own right, and adds attractive characteristics to blends. In some places, it is also used to produce sparkling base wine.
The variety produces a relatively pale lemon-yellow white wine depending on its region of origin. Wines are light to medium-bodied with moderate alcohol and fresh acidity, boasting citrus fruit, lime and delicate perfume when young. Wines may also show stone fruit and delicate spice depending on the terroir and winemaking style.
Királyleányka grape bunch and leaf
Királyleányka is a variety that yields light-bodied, pleasant wines. Its citrus fruit and delicately perfumed notes make it a perfect everyday wine, but it is increasingly used for sparkling wines, especially those using the Charmat method. It is most typically enjoyed from early spring to late autumn, although the sparkling versions are also popular for celebrations. It pairs well with light dishes and makes a great choice for vegetable and fish starters as well as for salads. Choose a wine from the latest vintage and consume as soon as possible to enjoy its fresh style at its best. Store in a cool place, away from direct sunlight and heat, to best preserve its light, fruity aromas. Always 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 Királyleányka include lettuce, cauliflower, fennel, legumes, citrus fruit, apricots, apples, pears, young light goat and cow’s cheeses, poultry, white fish and light pork dishes. It’s a perfect choice for a stewed kale with rissoles, a spring salad bursting with vitamins or baked pikeperch fillet with roasted vegetables. It’s particularly delicious with mild cream soups and fresh spring vegetable soups. A well-chilled glass of sparkling wine also makes a great welcome drink.