Furmint is a green grape from Hungary, used mainly for producing the sweet wine Tokaj but increasingly also available as a dry varietal wine.
Rich and fiery in taste, Furmint is a grape that naturally comes with high levels of acidity and sugar (e.g. in comparison to the majority of grapes that are high on acidity or sugar). This makes it highly suitable for making sweet wines.
It is so much easier to find Furmint in the sweet Tokaj wine than as a dry varietal wine. But they definitely do exist. You can then expect to find a complex and rather powerful wine, characterised by citrus, lime and pear.
If you are having it as a dessert wine, you can expect to find lime, pear, marzipan, tropical fruits and some spiciness – cinnamon.
A dry Furmint will be delicious with seafood or white meats. It can also be served as an aperitif. The wine is best served at 8-10°C/46-50°F
The sweet Tokaj wines will be an excellent pairing to Foie Gras, Blue cheese, or a dessert. The wine is best served at 10-14°C/50-57°F.
Where is it grown?
On a world-wide basis, Furmint holds an acreage of 5.276 ha/13,037 ac, corresponding to an increase of more than fifty percent in ten years. It can however be that some of the countries reported in 2010 were not in the census of 2000, so the growth rate should be read with a bit of caution.
In Hungary, the grape is planted on 4.165 ha/10,292 ac. This makes it the third most planted grape in the country, with most plantings (some ninety five percent) in the north eastern Tokaj region.
In neighbouring Slovakia, bordering to the Hungarian Tokaj region, the south-eastern region called Tokajska holds plantings of 248 ha/613 ac.
Further south-west, in Slovenia, 651 ha/1,609 ac are planted in the north-eastern region Podravje – Štajerska Slovenija. The region is the southern part of what in the Habsburgian Austria – Hungary Empire was called Stiermark (today the region’s northern part is a part of Austria).
Just across the south-eastern border, in Croatia’s Zagorje-Međimurje region, there are 172 ha/425 ac.
There are plantings of Furmint (in order of decreasing acreage) also in Rumania, Brazil, and Austria.
Furmint is a cross between Heunisch Weiss (Gouais Blanc) and Alba Imputato. It is an old variety with written documentation from the sixteenth century. The age is also confirmed by the vast number of synonyms, no less than one hundred and thirty-four.
Furmint is recognised as being native to Hungary’s Tokaj region.