INTRODUCING THE TOKAJ APPELLATION

Tokaj is Hungary’s most famous wine region. Located in the northeast, its dessert wines, and in particular the Tokaji Aszú, are without a doubt what Hungarians like to term a ”Hungarikum”. In English, a uniquely Hungarian product. The Tokaj region and its wines have made and continue to make a significant contribution to the wine-drinking world.  The world’s first vineyard classification system is attributed to Tokaj. That is, a royal decree in 1757 established a closed production district in Tokaj. While its wines were first mentioned by name, as early as 1571 in a recently discovered inventory of Tokaji Aszú. More recently, Tokaji vintners have received praise from wine critics and enthusiasts alike for their move to vinify the Tokaji grape varieties into serious dry whites. With conditions for viticulture that are not only excellent, but unique to the region, it is little wonder that Tokaj is reputed to be one of the finest, if not the finest, dessert wine appellations in the world. 

The Tokaj terroir consists of clay or loess soil on volcanic subsoil. The microclimate is determined by the sunny, south-facing slopes and the proximity of the Tisza and Bodrog rivers, and is conducive to the proliferation of Botrytis (‘noble rot') and the subsequent desiccation of the grapes.
Also, unique to the region are its grape varieties. Furmint and Hárslevelű have been cultivated in the region for centuries and, together with Yellow Muscat
(Hungarian: “Sárgamuskotály”) and Zéta, are the only grape varieties officially permitted for use in the region.

The unique composition of Tokaji wines has led some of the world’s most historic figures
to covet it. King Louis XV most notably entitled Tokaji wine as "wine of kings, king of wines".
While Alexandre Dumas described the Aszú’s length and return in the mouth as a
"peacock tail", making it a sweet wine comparable to no other. 
The Tokaj wines have also inspired music composers like Rossini and Schubert, and
writers and poets like Pablo Neruda, Léon Tolstoi, Flaubert, Diderot and Voltaire.