| - Tokaj -
one of the most famous wine regions of Hungary
"Tokaj may not compare in size with Bordeaux, Beaune, Oporto or Jerez, but like those cities it possesses a long and rich history, and like them has made a significant contribution to European wine culture. Its venerable status was universally acknowledged when the region was declared a UNESCO World Heritage Site, honouring its distinctive landscape and thousand-year long viticultural tradition." (David Copp)
Wines with the highest alcohol-, sugar-, and acid-contents of the country are born in Tokaj - Hegyalja - in the Tokaji Foothills. And Tokaj wines are well-known and very popular all over the world but Tokaji is much more than just another consumer item or alcoholic beverage. We can only speak in the superlative about wines of the Tokaj region, as it is a medicine, a real nectar. The secret of them is not to be sought extra in the nature of climate, position or soil, but in the common effect of all of these.
That is why Hungarians can say, they regard the wine of Tokaj as a national asset that can not be uprooted from its unrivaled natural enviroment, any more than it can be divorced from the historical and cultural context in which it emerged.
The long, hazy, sunny autumn is favourable for the shrivelling of the ripe grape berries and for the development of noble rot.
If we look back to the history by the early 18th century Tokaji wines were already popular with Popes, in great demand by the royality and nobility of France, Poland, Russia, and, somewhat later, became something of a cult wine collected and consumed by the English aristocracy.
In 1737, by decree Charles III., declared Tokaj-Hegyalja (Tokaj Foothills) as a restricted wine region in effect designating the first "appellation controllée" in the world and classifying its vineyards according to the quality of botrytised
However, that was long time ago, we can declare that Tokaj is one of the most special territories of Hungary and what was started in the past, it has been continuing nowadays as well.
The cultivars that thrive best in Tokaji soils and provide the best botrytised grapes are Furmint, Hárslevelű, Muscat Lunel, Zéta Kövérszőlő and Kabar. (Kabar, a cross of Bouvier with Hárslevelű, can be a little bit unkown for Tokaj lovers, while it was authorised for making Tokaji Appelation wines only beginning in January 2007.
(Area appr.: 5 446 hectares and approximately 87 km long and 3-4 km wide)
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