API organized for us to have a tour of a Hungarian wine called Pezsgő. Pezsgő is actually the Hungarian equivalent of Champagne, but because it is made in Hungary and not in the region of Champagne, it is called Pezsgő.
We were taken underground, through tunnels into a whole system of pezsgő storage and processing. Under the city of Pécs, there is actually about 50 km of wine cellars, owned by different people. It takes about five years for the pezsgő to become the product it should be. The tour guide explained that there are two methods to develop the pezsgő: classical bottle fermentation and traditional bottle fermentation. During the tour, we also passed a room full of bottle that had some dead mold on them. This is because during fermentation, some bottles may actually explode, so there are molds that feed of the liquid, but once they have eaten it all up, the mold dies. The tour guide explained that the owner didn’t really like this batch of pezsgő, so they are letting it ferment even further to actually become Pálinka.
The next part of the tour was pretty cool. There were these huge tanks that stored the pezsgő, and a few of them were empty and completely cleaned out. The tour guide said that whoever was brave or curious enough could climb into the tank through a small hole to look inside. Six student climbed inside and there was totally room for more – those pezsgő tanks were huge!
At the end of the tour, we were all kindly given a little taste of pezsgő. I would say I am now a strong supporter of the pezsgő industry.