EVERY MONTH | Since its launch in April 2012, the Tokaj-Hegyalja Market has become a firm fixture on the Tokaj events calendar and a must-stop on any weekend trip to the region. Taking place every second Sunday of the month around Sárga Borház Restaurant on the Disznókő Estate, the Market is more than just a gathering of local producers and crafts people offering handmade products (including cheese, meats, jams, honeys, vinegars, oils, fruits, vegetables, pottery, soap, wooden toys, jewellery, clothes and more). It is a full-blown food and wine event with live folk or jazz music, guided wine tasting sessions and exhibitions – and a popular place to meet and mingle with locals and visitors alike.
MID-AUGUST | The charming village of Erdőbénye (colloquially abbreviated to Bénye) has since 2009 been home to Wine, Shine, Bénye (Bor, Mámor, Bénye in HU), a two-and-a-half-day event that may well be the Tokaj region’s best wine and music festival. Makeshift stages and outdoor lounges in the gardens of over a dozen local wineries create the setting for the festival’s familiar and laid-back atmosphere, bringing the audience as close as possible to perfomers and winemakers alike. Genres range from early music to experimental folk jazz. Wines were, of course, on offer for tasting everywhere and vintners available for consultation to those interested in an insight into the grape-to-glass process.
LATE JUNE | The courtyards and buildings of several wineries and public places turn into concert venues for the Good Night Mád (Jó éjszakát, Mád! in HU) wine and music festival in the village of Mád. A series of choral, classical, jazz and world music concerts start in the evening and last into the early hours while cellars and eateries stay open late to offer wine and food to night-time concertgoers.
MID-OCTOBER | All Saints’ Month (Mindszent hava in HU) is the old Hungarian name of the month called október in mondern Hungarian. This old word is evoked in the name of the Mindszent Havi Mulatság (literally All Saints’ Month Merriment) wine festival, which is held on the second weekend of October in the amalgamated villages of Bodrogeresztúr and Bodrogkisfalud. Themed tastings of the best wines of local wineries are held at multiple venues, while artisan cheeses, jams, wine vinegar and sausages from local prodcures are also on offer on top of dishes from some of the region’s restaurants. Music ranges from folk to funky jazz before the event culminates in a folk dance evening in the Bodrogkeresztúr cultural centre.