Furmint is the most widely grown white grape varietal in Hungary, particularly in the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region where it is used to produce single-varietal dry wines as well as being the principal grape in the better known Tokaji dessert wines. It is also grown in the tiny Hungarian wine region of Somlo, the Slovakian wine region of Tokaj. It is also grown in Austria where it is known as Mosler, also planted in Croatia, Romania and the former republics of the Soviet Union.
The name Furmint is taken from the word 'froment' the wheat-gold colour of the wine it produces. While it is possible that if the grape is native to Hungary, the grape 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 be likely to have a parent-offspring relationship with Gouais Blanc. Furmint has also been confirmed to be the same grape as the Croatian white variety 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 liquid inside, producing a higher concentration of sugar. Other types of grapes 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 harvested, sometimes as late as December - for true Eszencia wine, occasionally as late as January.
Furmint wines, particularly the botrytized dessert wines, can have immense aging potential of over a century. Dessert style wines can develop notes of marzipan, blood orange, dried apricots and barley sugar.
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.