Hungary to introduce its wine culture to more Chinese
Wines from Tokaj are considered national treasures of Hungary. [Photo by Cris Zhang/For China Daily]

Hungary plans to launch a state-certified wine course to introduce more Chinese people to its national treasure Tokaj Wine.

"Wine culture is a very important part of Hungarian culture, and the wines from Tokaj are part of our national identity," said Mate Pesti, Hungary's ambassador to China. "I believe with the help of this wine course, more people will get to know us and become interested in visiting the birthplace of the amazing Tokaj wines."

The Tokaj Wine Region of Hungary is a UNESCO World Heritage site. In recent years, wines from Tokaj have reached a growing number of Chinese wine lovers. However, without understanding the rich culture and long history behind these products, many people have no clue how to enjoy a glass properly, or how to pair them with food, said David Varga-Sabjan, head of China office of the Hungarian Federation of Winecraftsmen.

The wine course, which will be carried out by the Dragon Phoenix Wine School in Beijing, with support from the Hungarian State-owned Grand Tokaj winery, will offer training for both Chinese wine experts and hobby drinkers alike.

Gergely Goreczky, CEO of Grand Tokaj, said this course will be the first Hungarian wine course to bear the stamp of the Tokaj Wine Region Assembly. The course will start early next year and is planned to spread quickly to major Chinese cities.

Edward Ragg, co-founder of the Dragon Phoenix Wine School and holder of Master of Wine diploma from The Institute of Masters of Wine, said he is delighted to collaborate on creating the course for Chinese students, given "the historical and contemporary importance of the Tokaj Region".

Ambassador Pesti said Hungary is an export-oriented country with 90 percent of its domestic products being exported. Agricultural products are important part of Hungarian export as the country has good quality soil, long hours of sunshine and prohibition on the production of genetically modified crops.

In 2018, the number of Chinese visitors to Hungary grew by 18 percent than that of the previous year, he said.

He added that Hungary has long friendly ties with China and it was the first European country to join the Belt and Road Initiative, and expects the ties to be further strengthened in the future.

Hungary could also be a driving force for better relationship between China and Europe, he added.

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