Archaeological findings demonstrate that viticulture has an ancient history here.
During the 150 years of Turkish rule and up until the last battle fought against the Turks in 1687, the vineyards perished. Then Serbs settled in the village, bringing the Kadarka grape with them; they became the founders of red wine production.
After 1770, the arrival of Germans settlers fundamentally changed the former ethnic composition of Villány. The German viticulturists brought with them their favourite grape, Blue Oporto.
In 1895 the village had no less than 590 Hungarian acres of vineyards, but the phylloxera epidemics sweeping across Europe in the late 19th century destroyed them. Here the name of Zsigmond Teleki, an inhabitant of Villány, must be mentioned: he was the one who managed to develop resistant vines with which the re-plantation of vineyards could be started again all over Europe.
Recent decades have brought fundamental changes in the viticulture and wine production of the region. The citizens of Villány were among the first to develop wineries of European standard, using state-of-the-art technology. To date, the number of wine tourism services has reached almost fifty. (See the bottom of the page) The most popular feast is the "Villány Red Wine Festival", held in October.
In the historical street of cellars (along the main street) several wineries offer their specialities. It is worth visiting the Wine Museum, in the former Teleki Cellar. Visitors here can see the traditional tools of wine production, written documents and artefacts, and bottles of wine almost hundred year old.
The former quarry of Villány's Templom Hill has sights that will attract lovers of nature. The nature protection area, covered with 135-140 million-year-old red sandstone has an amazingly rich treasure of Ammonites, making it a paradise for those interested in palaeontology. Vertebrae of reptiles and the remains of shallow sea animals have been found here. Lajos Lóczy was the first person to process the list of artefacts, in 1915, and the rich variety of species has gained worldwide recognition.
As a result of the research begun in 1910, researchers have discovered 27 new animal species from ten locations. This is where the geological specification “Villanyium”, a term used worldwide to designate the oldest period of the Pleistocene Epoch, originates from.
Sights of interest:
Tales and legends about the birth of the vineyards are interesting pieces of local history.