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Furmint: a misunderstood grape with a bright future

It’s a challenge trying to convince consumers to try central Europe’s native white grape Furmint, but when they do, it’s almost universally loved, according to Tatjana Puklavec from Slovenia’s Puklavec Family Wines.

In a conversation with the drinks business earlier this month, Tatjana said that due to the grape variety’s lack of fame, and unusual name, it was hard to sell it through retailers in the UK.

“We sell Furmint mostly in the on-trade, although in the UK, we do have it in Waitrose,” she said.

Continuing, she said that such unbalanced distribution was related to fact that the grape needed explaining before consumers would try it – something that’s possible in a restaurant setting, but rare in a retail environment.

“When we present it to the end consumer, we sometime hear them say, ‘we don’t want to taste something that tastes like fur or mint,’” she recorded.

However, she added, “But then, when I let people try it, everyone loves it, especially in the UK, because of its fresh style.”

She then said that because of its “zingy” character, “Furmint is ideal for the Chablis drinker” – referring to a French wine region that’s adored by Brits.

As previously reported by the drinks business, key to the quality and versatility of Furmint is its high level of natural acidity, making the wines from this grape both bright and extremely long-lived.

And, such an age-worthy nature was put to the test by us last week, as we sampled Puklavec Furmints back to 1981 – you can see our report on those wines by clicking here.

Meanwhile, for those in the UK trade, some of Puklavec’s historic wines will be available to taste at the Bibendum event in London tomorrow, along with the producer’s current releases, taking in Furmint, and Sauvignon Blanc as well as a novel and popular blend of the two.

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