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New law to aid wine producers, promote Hungarian wines

Hungarian winemakers are launching a 2.6 billion forint (EUR 6.3m) campaign to popularise Hungarian wines among younger consumers and on foreign markets with government support, while the government is revamping official administrative procedures with a view to simplifying red tape for Hungary's 30,000 winegrowers and winemakers, according to a government official.

One fix in the pipeline is a new electronic administration system to be introduced in the first half of 2023, on a voluntary basis at first, for larger market players, Zsolt Nyitrai, chief adviser to the Prime Minister, told MTI, after meeting winemakers.

Winemaker Otto Legli said many vineyards had withstood this year’s drought and grapes had benefitted from rainfall in mid-August and September. Earlier fears of a decline in quantity have been largely unfounded, he said, adding that 2.6-2.9 million hectoliters could be expected this year — less than last year but the quality is outstanding.

He said Hungarian wineries have made technological developments that, coupled with outstanding professional knowledge and experience, have resulted in a high-quality Hungarian 2022 vintage.

But at the same time winegrowers are contending with skyrocketing costs amid the wartime economic environment, Legli said.

Big retailers, meanwhile, have bumped up their margins, which is felt by consumers but small reward is passed on to Hungarian producers, he said.

Nyitrai and Legli agreed on the importance of cooperation between the government and the organisation and joint lobbying at the European Union level.

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