Just east of the Mátra mountains is the lovely little town of Eger. While it is recognized for its castle and baths, our main purpose for visiting Eger was to go to St. Andrea winery for a tour and tasting. The region is well known for its wines, but is particularly famous for its “Bulls Blood” red wines. In 1552, 80,000 Turks were advancing toward Eger. Just 2,000 Hungarians, led by Dobó István and including women and children successfully defended the Eger castle. The story goes that during the battle, the Hungarians were drinking the Eger red wine for strength, but all the Turks could see was that the Hungarians had dripping red beards, stained swords and faces. The Turks thought that the Hungarians were drinking bulls blood and were so shocked and scared that the mighty magyars were able to defeat them.
St. Andrea winery is located outside of Eger on a beautiful hillside. We were all very impressed with not only the incredible wines, but with the philosophy of the owners and winemakers. Our guide, Tamás, spoke about how they are searching for the truth in the process, or as he said “the way”. And that more important than selling a million bottles of wine, they want to make a great wine that people appreciate. The tasting was wonderful in addition to the wine, cheese and bread with oil and balsamic vinegar. Inspired by his wife and muse, Andrea, Dr. György Lőrincz’s wines are (like the name of one of his white wine’s suggests) blessings in bottles.
And finally, after the wine tasting, we went back to Eger for dinner right next to the castle at a great restaurant called Imola. The restaurant was recommended by St. Andrea herself, and the food was wonderful. We ordered ham and cheese plates, gulyas soup, beef cheek, stuffed peppers, trout, veal stew and duck. And we were so stuffed from the wine and food that we couldn’t even order desert. So despite the trickling rain and cool weather, it was a beautiful September 1st in Eger.