Furmint is a white wine grape varietal grown particularly in the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region of Hungry. The countries most planted varietal, produces single-varietal dry wines as well as being the principal grape in their renowned Tokaji dessert wines. It is also grown in the small wine region of Somlo; along with the Slovakian wine region of Tokaj. It is also planted in Austria where it is called Mosler, and it can be found grown in Croatia, Romania along with select wine areas of Russia.
The name Furmint comes from the word 'froment' - which relates to the 'honey-gold colour' the wine produces. The grape it believed by many to be native to Hungary, and thoughts are that it was likely brought to Hungary in the 13th century during the reign of King Bela IV.

 

DNA profiling at the University of Zagreb has shown Furmint to likely have a genetic relationship with Gouais Blanc. Furmint has also been confirmed to be the same grape as the Croatian white varietal known as Moslavac.
Furmint grapes begin maturation with a thick skin, but as they ripen the skins become thinner and transparent. This allows the sun to penetrate the grape and evaporate much of the water inside, producing a higher concentration of berry sugar. Other grape varietals can mature to the point of bursting; however, unlike most other grapes, Furmint grows a second skin which seals it from rot. This also has the effect of concentrating the grape's natural sugars. The grapes are left on the vine long enough to develop the 'noble rot' (Botrytis cinerea) mold. Grapes are then carefully hand-harvested, sometimes as late as December - and for true 'Eszencia' wine, occasionally as late as January.
Furmint wines, particularly the botrytised dessert wines, can have immense aging potential of over a century. Dessert style wines can develop notes of marzipan, blood orange, dried apricots and honey-comb.
Furmint is the grape responsible for Hungary's legendary dessert wines from the Tokaji region. The most famous of these wines are known as Tokaji Aszú Essencia.