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Published:  23 July, 2008

By Stuart Peskett

The number of winemaking regions in Hungary should be cut from 22 to just eight, according to a leading Tokay producer. At a dinner held at the Hungarian Embassy in London, kos Nmeth, deputy general manager of marketing and sales for Crown Estates of Hungary, said that merging several regions may be the only way for the Hungarian wine industry to make inroads into overseas markets, particularly the UK, after it joins the EU on 1 May next year. He told Harpers: It could be logical to decrease the number and amalgamate those regions which are split up at the moment, because it is impossible for an area of 700ha to compete with a 10,000 to 15,000ha area in the EU. It cannot be marketed easily, so it's better if we have better, bigger areas. I think it's a matter of competition; it would be a compromise. The important thing will be who can keep the steering wheel in hand. If we want to compete with the strong winemaking countries, then there is no other choice than this.' Nmeth also believes that Hungary's numerous indigenous grape varieties should be at the core of future marketing plans.