Start in Mád, just over two hours east of Budapest by car, with a visit to of the Baroque-style Mád Synagogue. One of the oldest surviving synagogues in Hungary, the building reflects the prosperity of Mád’s Jewish community at the time it was built, at the end of the 18th century. The next stop is at the largest Jewish cemetery of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region, also in the town of Mád on a hillside with views of nearby vineyards. Many of the people buried in the cemetery were responsible for developing the commerce in Tokaj’s wines.
Next head to Percze
for lunch. Dishes of local beef, goat, lamb, and wild game are prepared with the best seasonal produce available in contemporary takes on favorite Hungarian dishes. The restaurant also has a long wine list featuring the products of some of the best local wineries, all served in a stunning dining room with floor-to-ceiling windows overlooking the steeple of one of the town’s churches.
After lunch continue to learn about Tokaj’s wines with a visit to the family-run Demetervin
winery. Every sip of the limited number of wines created here reflect the area’s unique soil and conditions, and they are served in a blissful rural setting on an estate with some buildings dating back to the 18th century. Another alternative is the Holdvölgy Winery
, which reflects a more contemporary take on Tokaj’s wines. The tasting room is a white-walled gallery like setting while the blends have evocative names like Vision, Meditation, and Eloquence. While the attitude may be contemporary, the products still reflect the centuries-old traditions of wine cultivation in Tokaj.
Later you’ll head to Tarcal, where you’ll tour the Gallery of Tarcal and a Jewish cemetery that houses the remains of Jakab Spira, the town’s famous rabbi. The town is also home to one of the Tokaj region’s most famous landmarks, the Blessing Christ statue, with panoramic views of the countryside here from its base. Wind down for the night in an oasis of wellness and relaxation at Andrássy Rezidencia Wine & Spa
, the only five-star hotel in the Tokaj-Hegyalja region, and your home for the duration of this trip. (Another option, also in Tarcal, is the lovely Gróf Degenfeld
, a chateau-like estate that is also home to a winery.)