As the long weekend of Whit approaches (23-25th May), I wanted to share some of my favourite events and activities as the region buzzes with people and opportunities.
All about wine
Saint Urban’s Day with open cellars from Erdőbénye to Tokaj then up to Abaújszántó as Tokaj Women and Wine (Tokaji Borbarátnők) invite visitors to taste their wines at the wineries. The main centre is Mád with top wineries Barta, Budaházy, Demetervin, Első Mádi Borház, Holdvölgy, Tokaj Classic, Zsirai.
2nd Producers’ Gathering at Gigerli, Erdőbénye, with the usual great selection of local terroir wines as well as exciting dishes from Öshonos Delikát who created the Bénye Burger. This funky wine bar is open all weekend with unusual wine tastings of Reisling and fine wine selection on the Sunday afternoon, and from 5 on Monday talk with permaculture, arts and legendary goat cheesemaker, Enikő Balla.
Drinking day in Abaújszántó with wine and sports, folk and market as festivities stretch into the night in this village under the Sátorhegy (Tent hill) at the northwestern tip of the Tokaj wine region. Generally smaller, less well-known winemakers.
History comes to life
Re-enactment of the 1458 Botkő Battle as the grounds of Sárospatak Castle come alive with enthusiasts dressed as soldiers, traders, farmers and the rest in the castle gardens overlooking the river. The local equestrian society turn out in all their glory and there are markets, crafts, and all the fun of the event.
Sports and more
Bathing at the open-air thermal baths and swimming pool in Sárospatak. There’s even a campsite with bungalows next door, so it’s easy to slip in for an early morning dip. http://vegardofurdo.hu/
Adventure time at the adventure park just outside Sátoraljaújhely with 1036-m zipwire, chairlift, cabin rides, bob and rope challenge! Not for the faint-hearted! http://www.zemplenkalandpark.hu/
Bicycle tour in this gorgeous area. Get bikes and routes from Tokaj TourInform or in the vineyards around Mád from Első Mádi Borház.