- 26 Mar 2014 8:00 AM
The Ministry of Rural Development's Parliamentary State Secretary added that proof of this fact is that Hungarian pálinkas entered in annual international distillate competitions are attaining increasing recognition. Hungarian fruit distillates brought home 188 medals from this year's Destillata competition held in Salzburg.
The State Secretary pointed out that it is no accident that pálinka was designated as a Hungaricum, because it embodies a tradition that is an important element of the values and culture of the Hungarian peoples. Accordingly the Hungarian Government is working to protect everything that Hungary has achieved within the field of pálinka distilling within the European Union.
Destillata Managing Director Wolfgang Lukas said that 183 distilleries from 11 countries had entered this year's competition with a total of 1700 samples, including 258 lots of Hungarian pálinka from 29 domestic distilleries, who won a total of 188 medals. The most successful Hungarian distillery was the Agárdi Pálinka Distillery with 22 medals, as such becoming the "national champion". Hungary also won a Distillate of the Year award, in addition to 11 gold, 92 silver and 84 bronze medals.
Tibor Vértes, one of the owners of the Agárdi Páinka Distillery to Hungarian news agency MTI that this was this sixth time that his distillery had become the "national champion" at the Destillata competition. This requires excellent products and a little luck, he added. The company produces some 60 thousand litres of 40 percent proof pálinka each year, achieving an annual turnover of some 350 million forints (EUR 1.1m).
According to Mr. Vértes, around 1.7-1.8 million H.P.A. pálinka are sold in Hungary each year (one H.P.A., or hectolitre of pure alcohol, is equivalent to 2 litres of 50 percent proof pálinka).