Research Institute for Viticulture and Oenology

Research Institute for Viticulture and Oenology

About the institute

The Institute – one of the first established of the kind and still functioning as a research station – is the successor to the Central Experimental Station for Viticulture and Institute for Ampelology founded in 1896. It has been operating comprising two research stations (in Badacsony and Kecskemét) as an R&D institution within the network of the National Agricultural Research and Innovation Centre since 2014.

The fundamental task of the Institute is to provide research and advisory services to the wine industry parallel with carrying out educational activities in institutions of higher education, which it was attached to earlier.  In the frame of its research activities it focuses primarily on applied research topics.

Among those research on varieties is considered to be an important field having long traditions and outstanding results at the Institute. The research on variety value and selection carried out at the Institute played a crucial role in reintroducing the cultivation of several Hungaricum type local varieties e.g. Kéknyelű, Juhfark, Kövidinka, Ezerjó etc. Hallmarks of the most recent results of cross breeding are wine grape varieties Zeus, Generosa, Rózsakő as well as fungal disease resistant table grape varieties Fanny, Teréz, Esther. Successful clonal selection work going back to several decades is illustrated by a number of state-approved clones of regional varieties (Olasz rizling, [Riesling Italico], Szürkebarát [Pinot Gris], Kékfrankos, Irsai Olivér) playing a dominant role in Hungarian grape and wine growing.

The sustainment and development of genetic stocks (1,600 items) serving variety research as well as their description by means of molecular genetic techniques are important tasks of the department.

For the major part of the varieties in the National Grapevine Catalogue the Institute figures as the sustaining organisation. As part of variety sustenance it provides propagation material of high biological value (PBVT, BVT) for production on 14 ha of nursery stock. As a result of complex pathogen decontamination 180 items of initial rootstocks (not exclusively of the varieties cultivated by the Institute) are maintained in isolation houses, thus at the service of the whole industry in Hungary.

In the field of research on growing technologies the successful adaptation of the DMR method, the results in developing humate-based fertilizers as well as achievements in developing table grape growing technologies deserve to be highlighted.

Expert tasks in maintaining the national vineyard cadastre are by law delegated to the Institute but it also contributes to conceiving or modifying product specifications. 

Substantial aid to wine production was provided by the development of optimal wine making technologies for the Hungaricum type varieties (Olasz rizling, Kéknyelű, Juhfark, Generosa).

Consulting and advisory activities are considered to be extremely important. Outstanding programmes are wine appreciations and professional presentations. Within the framework of consulting activities a large number of bud examinations are carried out and a plant protection warning system is operated to help the producers of the Badacsony historical wine district. In the Institute’s accredited laboratory soil and plant samples are examined, soil conservation and nutrition plans are drawn up related to agro-environmental management programmes. The Balaton Wine Region Wine Quality Commission also holds its organoleptic tasting sessions there taking advantage of the Institute’s expert staff and infrastructure.  

Staff members participate in national and international educational programmes on all levels from basic vocational education through secondary and tertiary education, as well as conducting professional trainings and postgraduate training courses. PhD students are provided the opportunity to participate in research projects. Institutes of higher education as well as professionals are welcome to use the Institute’s facilities as experiential venue and presentation area.