St Martin Day – when the wine cellars’ doors are wide open this weekend

El Greco Spanish painter’s work of St Martin donating half of his military cloak to a beggar

El Greco Spanish painter’s work of St Martin donating half of his military cloak to a beggar

Saint Martin has a special importance for Hungarians, since the famous bishop was born in the province of Savaria in 316 in the Roman Empire, in the territory of Hungary. Savaria is now called Szombathely, a city of about 90 000 inhabitants, and the church stands at his presumable birthday to commemorate him.

As a teenager, he became Christian to his father’s dislike. His father was a soldier of the Roman Empire and made his son to join the army as well. According to the legend once Martin cut his coat with his sword and gave half of it to a beggar in the street who had been robbed of his clothes. At the age of 22, Martin baptized, and devoted all his life to God. He founded the first monastery in Europe. He was so modest, that – as the legend says – he hid among the geese to a avoid being made a bishop. As a memory to his modest character, people eat dishes made of goose on his name day on 11 November.

The year 2016 is dedicated to Saint Martin to celebrate his birth 1700 years ago.

St Martin’s Day is the time to celebrate the new vintage as well, since most of the wines have already been fermented by this time. As a consequence, several wineries prepare with special goose dinners paired with wines from the new vintage.

Tornai Winery in Somló wine region offers a gourmet dinner on 11 November, where all the courses – except the dessert – are accompanied by wines from vintage 2016. The wines will be introduced by Ákos Kamocsay junior, chief winemaker of Tornai Winery. The menu includes dishes like smoked goose breast with wine jelly and salad with pumpkin seed oil, paired with Irsai Oliver 2016.

More info and booking: or Csilla Nagy: +36-70-3399-821

József Bock

József Bock

József Bock in Villány wine region is a real pioneer of celebration of new vintage wine. Two decades ago it was him who bottled his new red wine made of Portugieser grape for St Martin’s Day. This weekend the winery is ready for the guests: 10 000 bottles of Portugieser 2016 is awaiting the fans of Bock Cellar. As for the food, Bock Cellar is not a small player: they are preparing 2 tons (!) of goose for the 2 day celebration of St Martin on 11–12 November. However the weekend is not only about eating and drinking, the winery has a charity action as well: special pieces of art have been made for the commemoration of the 1700 anniversary of St Martin’s birth, and the profit of these pieces of arts will entirely go the Order of Malta.

More info and booking: or +36-70-204-7531





Hungarianwines Follow us on instagram

Made with love by Nemos Creative Ltd.