Hungary is one of the greatest wine-producing countries in Europe, and the quality of some of the vintages, especially that of Tokaj, is unsurpassed.
Until 1853 wine was the staple product, and although even the finest brand (known as Vidonia) never equalled the best Madeira vintages, it was largely consumed abroad, especially in England.
Of recent years (1896-1907) the only vintages which have been deficient as regards quantity are those of 1897, 1898, 1902 and 1903, but even in the most unfavourable of these years (1898) the quantity exceeded 700 million gallons.
The quality of the wines naturally varies considerably with the vintage; but it is almost invariably the case that the wines of successful vintages will contain practically the same relative proportions of their various constituents, although the absolute amounts present of these constituents may differ widely.
The tables below will give a fair idea of the variations which occur in the same wine as a result of different vintages, and the variations due to differences of growth " in the same vintage.
The principal claret vintages of modern times have been those of 1858, 1864, 1869, 1870, 1874, 1875, 1877, 1878, 1888, 1893, 1896, 1899 and 1900, while it was thought probable that many of the wines of 1904 to 1907 inclusive would turn out well.
From 1882 to 1886 inclusive, the vintages were almost total failures owing to mildew.
The wines are made entirely from white grapes, and the methods of collecting the latter, and of working them up Analyses of Chateau Lafite of Different Vintages.'
The vinification of the Burgundy wines takes place in cuves of 500 to 2000 gallons capacity, and it has for very many years been the common practice in vintages in which the must is deficient in saccharine to ensure the stability of the wine by the addition of some sugar in the cuve.
The most famous vintages of recent times were those of 1847, 1851, 1863, 1868, 1870, 1873, 1878, 1881, 1884 and 1887.
The great inequalities observed in the different vintages and the exceptionally fine character of the wines in good years are, generally, due to the same cause, namely, to the geographical position of the vineyards.
The very great variations which are shown by the same growths of different vintages makes it impracticable in the case of the German white wines to give representative analyses of them.
Comparing the fine wines of the better vintages with, for instance, the red wines of the Gironde, the main features of interest are the relatively high proportions of acid and glycerin and the low proportion of tannin which they contain.
Johannisberger, Steinberger, Riidesheimer, Marcobrunner, Hochheimer, Rauenthaler, Assmannsh fuser, and others - which enjoy the highest reputation amongst the vintages of Germany..