12 September 2023
The Kéknyelű is an autochthonous (ie. indigenous) Hungarian variety, whose uniqueness is due to the fact that there are relatively few wines of it in a relatively small wine-growing area, so almost all Hungarians know the collocation Badacsonyi Kéknyelű (meaning Kéknyelű from Badacsony). Indeed, this variety, which has been a Hungarikum (a value worthy of distinction) since 2013, is largely planted here: 44 hectares of the 47 hectares of the total area are planted in Badacsony vineyards, while the remaining 3 hectares are located in other wine district of the north coast and in Etyek. Badacsony winegrowers are placing great emphasis on the variety, which is also a result of the trend towards local grape varieties, which are increasingly in demand among wine tourists and wine consumers in general.
It is called Kéknyelű (literally blue peduncle) because of its bluish peduncle. It is a late maturing variety with thick skinned berries that tolerate frost well and are not susceptible to rot. Its clusters are almost yield-limiting themselves and frequently loose, so they do not produce large yields. This may seem like a problem from a production point of view, but it clearly places the Kéknyelű among the higher quality wines. Interestingly, it only produces female inflorescences and must be planted with other varieties, otherwise fertilisation does not take place, its partner in the wine district being most often the Budai Zöld grape variety.
The winemakers wish to show consumers a broadly accessible face of the variety. That's why they are now making lighter, easy-drinking, everyday Kéknyelű wines, and the feedback is that these are a huge success. Expect a neutral varietal character when tasting, with citrus, apple, herbal notes and a definite acidity. These flavour notes also allow it to make Kéknyelű into frizzante and sparkling wines. Beside sought-after reductive wines, the more traditional barrel-aged Kéknyelűs have not disappeared, but their complexity makes them worth resting for a few years. If the vintage is ideal, it can even be tasted as a sweet wine.
If you would like more information about the Kéknyelű, visit our page describing the variety in details.