A Secret To Be Shared With the World
Villany is not easy to find. Sure it has a train station, but believe me this is deceiving.
When you arrive at the alarmingly awful train station you half expect Janos Kadar (the Hungarian Communist Leader from 1956 – 88) to come over the intercom system and announce the next five year plan. “Yes comrades the great socialist is building a worker’s paradise, a fine example is this lovely train station.” Yikes!
But less than half a mile from the station a true paradise beckons, if you love wine, tastefulness and super cute village life. Villany has cellars full of a secret that is shared with the world and that secret is wine.
The town’s name comes from the Hungarian word Villam which means lightning. They have a different kind of lightning in Vllany, the kind that attracts rather than repels. It flashes in rich reds, better known as Cabernet, Savignons and Merlots.
Now I no longer partake of alcohol, but I would advise those who do to make a pilgrimage here. They will find a mid-sized village with a central street lined with winery’s and cellars.
In this town with a population of two thousand, it seemed like I counted at least that many cellars.
One I visited, the noted Gere label, told me they sold 620,000 bottles per year. Not bad and this is only one of many. Yet they export only about 10% of this legendary liquid. To foreigners this must be an acquired taste, but do keep in mind that the Hungarians in Villany also acquired this taste.
The winemaking heritage in Villany started with Serbs and Swabian Germans who repopulated the area in the 18th century not long after the Turks were ousted. Of course, now it’s a distinctly Hungarian vintage that gives Villany its robust flavor.
They carry on a centuries old tradition that is much more than just an experience it’s also a way of life.
written by CHRIS WILKINSON
edited by CHRIS KOVACS
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