|Total area||11,149 ha|
|Size of planted vineyards||5,500 ha|
|Grapes produced||Furmint, Hárslevelű, Yellow Muscat, Zéta, Kövérszőlő, Kabar|
|Official name||Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape|
|Includes||Ungvári, Rákóczi, Koporosi, Gomboshegyi and Oremus Cellars; Tolcsva Wine Museum Cellars|
|Criteria||Cultural: (iii), (v)|
|Inscription||2002 (26th Session)|
|Area||13,255 ha (51.18 sq mi)|
|Buffer zone||74,879 ha (289.11 sq mi)|
Tokaj wine region (Hungarian : Tokaji borvidék Slovak : Vinohradnícka oblasť Tokaj ) or Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region (short Tokaj-Hegyalja or Hegyalja) is a historical wine region located in northeastern Hungary and southeastern Slovakia. It is also one of the seven larger wine regions of Hungary (Hungarian : Tokaji borrégió). Hegyalja means "foothills" in Hungarian, and this was the original name of the region.
The region consists of 28 named villages and 11,149 hectares of classified vineyards, of which an estimated 5,500 are currently planted. Tokaj in particularly famous as the origin of Tokaji aszú wine, the world's oldest botrytized wine. Because of its testimony to a long and unique tradition of viticulture and its cultural importance as a wine-making region, Tokaj was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002 under the name Tokaj Wine Region Historic Cultural Landscape.
Due to the Treaty of Trianon, a smaller part of the historical wine region now belongs to Slovakia.
Some of the characteristics which make the Tokaj wine region unique are:
Historical records show that vineyards had been established in Tokaj as early as the 12th century, but there is evidence for the earlier introduction of wine production to the region.
A number of experts claim that viticulture could have started in the Tokaj region as early as in the Celtic times, that is BC. A petrified grape leaf found in Erdőbénye and dating from the late 3rd century AD, points to the existence of viticulture in Roman times. Slavs arrived in the region in the late 5th/early 6th century. One possible origin for the name "Tokaj" is that it is derived from the Slavic word "Stokaj", meaning approximately confluence (i.e. confluence of the rivers Bodrog and Tisza).[ citation needed ] The Slovaks claim that Slavs continued previous viticulture in the region.[ citation needed ] Magyar settlers arrived in Tokaj from the end of the 9th Century and there is an alternative theory that viticulture was introduced to the region from the east, possibly by the Kabar tribe. The Magyars themselves seem to have had an ancient tradition of wine-making (see: Origins of Hungarian wine-making). Another possible origin for the name "Tokaj" is that it comes from an Armenian word meaning "grape".
Latin people were first invited to settle in Tokaj by Hungarian King Béla III (1172-1196) and then by Béla IV (1235-1270). These immigrants were probably Walloons from northern France, although some researchers claim that they were Italians. Slavic peoples (Slovaks and Rusyns) are also documented as being involved in Tokaj viticulture by the 12th century. However, the rise of Tokaj as a major wine region can be dated to the early 16th Century.
Around 1620 the Emperor imported a Walloon-French wine-farmer Duvont, who later invented what would be known as the "king of wines"-method in the Tokaji-district.
In honour of Mr. Duvont's exceptional skills, the Emperor ennobled this farmer, and gave him one of his many villages (Kiralyfalva), now Königsdorf in Austria. The emperor then named the family Királyfalvy.
Tokaji wine became an increasingly important commodity for the region from the 17th century, its export being a major source of income for the ruling princes of Transylvania to which the Tokaj region belonged at the time. Indeed, revenues from the increasingly renowned Tokaji Aszú wine helped to pay for the wars of independence fought against Austrian Habsburg rule. The repute of Tokaji wine was enhanced when in 1703, Francis II Rákóczi, prince of Transylvania, gave King Louis XIV of France a gift of numerous bottles of wine from his Tokaj estate. Tokaji wine was then served at the Versailles Court, where it became known under the name of Tokay. Delighted with the precious beverage, Louis XIV declared it "Vinum Regum, Rex Vinorum" ("Wine of Kings, King of Wines").
In the 18th Century, Tokaj reached the height of its prosperity. Both Poland and Russia had become major export markets for its wine. Such was the importance of Tokaji in Russia, that the Russian emperors maintained a de facto colony in Tokaj in order to guarantee the supply of wine to the Imperial Court.
The partition of Poland in 1795 and subsequent imposition of customs duties dealt a severe blow to the exports of Tokaji wine and precipitated the economic decline of the region. However, this was only the first of three major crises for Tokaj. The second occurred when the phylloxera epidemic reached Tokaj in 1885 and destroyed the vast majority of the vineyards in a matter of years. The third shock was when Hungary lost two-thirds of its territory under the peace Treaty of Trianon signed in June 1920, and thus Tokaj wine lost access to the majority of its domestic market. The region was also divided between Hungary and the newly created Czechoslovakia, which gained an area of 120 hectares (with the exception of 1938-1944, when Hungary took control over the territory). The latter now forms part of an adjoining wine region in Slovakia with approximately 908 hectares of classified Tokaj vineyards.
The era of communist rule in Hungary saw a deterioration in the quality and reputation of Tokaji wines. However, since 1990 a considerable amount of investment has gone into the Tokaj region, creating what has been dubbed as the "Tokaj Renaissance". There are now almost 600 wineries in the region, of which about 50 produce the full range of wines.
Tokaj wine is, by its unique character, a luxurious commodity with a strong appeal to the international market.
The dispute started in 1964 when, for the first time, the then Czechoslovakia exported its excessive production of Tokaj wine to Austria, the market that used to be solely supplied with this commodity by Hungary. The conflict of interests was settled in a bilateral agreement according to which Slovakia - at the expense of the Czech beer-related concession on Hungarian part - was only allowed to export its overproduction of Tokaj wine to Hungary (which consequently re-labeled and re-exported it). This agreement expired in 1990 after which date the dispute arose again. km² of land in Slovakia is able to use the Tokaj name. However, the Slovak part did not observe their legally binding undertaking, which was to introduce the same standards enshrined in Hungarian wine laws since 1990. It has not yet been decided who will monitor or enforce those laws. The disputes led Slovakia into an international lawsuit between Hungary and five other countries (Italy, France, Australia, Serbia and Slovenia), for the brand name "Tokaji". (see details: Tokaji)An agreement was reached in June 2004 between the Hungarian and Slovak governments concerning the use of the Tokaj name in Slovakia. Under this agreement, wine produced on 5.65
In November 2012, the European Court ruled against Hungary's request to erase the Slovak entry “Vinohradnícka oblasť Tokaj” from “E-Bacchus”, an electronic database containing a register of designations of origin and geographical indications protected in the EU. Hungary lodged an appeal against the judgement of the General Court. In February 2013, the EU Court of Justice has turned down the Hungarian appeal against an earlier ruling concerning Slovakia's registration of “Vinohradnícka oblasť Tokaj” (Tokaj Wine Region), which contains the name of Hungary's Tokaj region. In its ruling, the court said that Slovakia's registering its “Vinohradnícka oblasť Tokaj” in the European database E-Bacchus did not constitute an actionable measure.As a result, under the current EU legislation the wine-growing region of Tokaj is located in both Hungary and Slovakia. Therefore, wine producers from both the Hungarian Tokaj region and the Slovak Tokaj region may use the Tokaj brand name.
Dessert wines, sometimes called pudding wines in the United Kingdom, are sweet wines typically served with dessert.
Tokaji or Tokay is the name of the wines from the Tokaj wine region in Hungary or the adjoining Tokaj wine region in Slovakia. This region is noted for its sweet wines made from grapes affected by noble rot, a style of wine which has a long history in this region. The "nectar" coming from the grapes of Tokaj is also mentioned in the national anthem of Hungary.
Noble rot is the beneficial form of a grey fungus, Botrytis cinerea, affecting wine grapes. Infestation by Botrytis requires moist conditions. If the weather stays wet, the damaging form, "grey rot", can destroy crops of grapes. Grapes typically become infected with Botrytis when they are ripe. If they are then exposed to drier conditions and become partially raisined, this form of infection is known as noble rot. Grapes picked at a certain point during infestation can produce particularly fine and concentrated sweet wine. Wines produced by this method are known as botrytized wines.
An appellation is a legally defined and protected geographical indication primarily used to identify where the grapes for a wine were grown, although other types of food often have appellations as well. Restrictions other than geographical boundaries, such as what grapes may be grown, maximum grape yields, alcohol level, and other quality factors may also apply before an appellation name may legally appear on a wine bottle label. The rules that govern appellations are dependent on the country in which the wine was produced.
Furmint is a white Hungarian wine grape variety that is most noted widely grown 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 Somló. Furmint plays a similar role in the Slovakian wine region of Tokaj. It is also grown in Austria where it is known as Mosler. Smaller plantings are found in Slovenia where it is known as Šipon. The grape is also planted in Croatia & Serbia, where it is known as Moslavac. It is also found in Romania and in former republics of the Soviet Union. Furmint is a late ripening variety. For dry wines the harvest starts usually in September, however sweet wine specific harvest can start in the second half of October or even later, and is often affected by Botrytis.
Tokaj is a historical town in Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, Northern Hungary, 54 kilometers from county capital Miskolc. It is the centre of the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine district where Tokaji wine is produced.
The subjective sweetness of a wine is determined by the interaction of several factors, including the amount of sugar in the wine, but also the relative levels of alcohol, acids, and tannins. Sugars and alcohol enhance a wine's sweetness, while acids cause sourness and bitter tannins cause bitterness. These principles are outlined in the 1987 work by Émile Peynaud, The Taste of Wine.
Tokaj wine region is a wine-growing region located in south-eastern Slovakia and north-eastern Hungary. The two vine-growing areas were once part of greater Tokaj wine region of the Kingdom of Hungary. Following the Treaty of Trianon a smaller part became part of Czechoslovakia, and after 1993 Slovakia. The majority of the region remained part of Hungary.
Hárslevelű, also called Lipovina, Frunza de tei, Lindenblättriger and Feuille de Tilleul is a grape variety from the Pontian Balcanica branch of Vitis vinifera.
Hungarian wine has a history dating back to the Kingdom of Hungary. Outside Hungary, the best-known wines are the white dessert wine Tokaji aszú and the red wine Bull's Blood of Eger.
Wine in the Czech Republic is produced mainly in southern Moravia, although a few vineyards are located in Bohemia. However, Moravia accounts for around 96% of the country's vineyards, which is why Czech wine is more often referred to as Moravian wine. Production centers on local grape varieties, but there has been an increase in the production of established international strains such as Cabernet Sauvignon.
Sauvignon vert is a white wine grape of the species Vitis vinifera prevalent in the Italian region of Friuli, and adjacent territories of Slovenia. It is widely planted in Chile where it was historically mistaken for Sauvignon blanc. The grape is distinct from the California planting of Muscadelle which is also called Sauvignon vert.
Tokayer may refer to one of several wines or wine grapes:
Tarcal is a village on the eastern edge of Borsod-Abaúj-Zemplén county, northern Hungary, in the famous Tokaj-Hegyalja wine district, 55 km (34 mi) from Miskolc.
The classification of wine is based on various criteria including place of origin or appellation, vinification method and style, sweetness and vintage, and the grape variety or varieties used. Practices vary in different countries and regions of origin, and many practices have varied over time. Some classifications enjoy official protection by being part of the wine law in their country of origin, while others have been created by, for example, growers' organizations without such protection.
The village Erdőbénye has around 1000 inhabitants and is located 20 km from the town of Tokaj in Northern Hungary. It lies in a valley surrounded by mountains and vineyards, in the middle of the famous wine-region ‘Tokaj-Hegyalja’, in Borsod-Abauj-Zemplen County. The village is one of the centres for wine-production in this region. There are more cellars in the village, where the regional wines can be tasted. As the well-known old saying tells us: “Good wine, like Tokaj Aszu, needs a good wine-cask too…“, which is why the profession of cooper has a long tradition in this region. The coopers of Erdőbénye are the only ones in the world who have preserved the tradition of the dance of the coopers, which has been handed down from father to son, and which they perform every summer at the “Festival of Coopers.”
Badacsony wine region is located in central Transdanubia, on the Northern shores of Lake Balaton, around mount Badacsony. Its area is approximately 1600 hectares.
Slovak wine is produced in the southern part of Slovakia, which is divided into 6 wine-producing areas. Although Slovak wines except Tokaj are not well-known internationally, they are popular domestically and in neighbouring countries. The best wines are produced by medium-sized wineries with their own vineyards, with white wine production being most dominant, including the full range of historic sweet wines - ice wine, straw wine, and botrytized wine.
Puttonyos is a unit for the level of sugar in Hungarian Tokaji and Slovak Tokaj dessert wine. It is traditionally measured by the number of hods of sweet botrytised or nobly rotted grapes added to a barrel of wine, but is now measured in grams of residual sugar. The puttony was actually the 25 kg basket or hod of Aszú grapes, and the more added to the barrel of wine, the sweeter the eventual wine. Measurement ranges from 3 to 6 Puttonyos. A Tokaji made entirely from Aszú grapes is not labeled using the Puttonyos system but is known as Eszencia.