It was the Romans who brought vines to Pannonia. Vineyards were extensively cultivated around Tokaj and Eger several centuries ago. Sweet Tokaji and the full-bodied red Bull's Blood are still the best-known varieties beyond Hungary's borders today.
Tokaj is synonymous with Hungarian wine. Set in the foothills of the Zemplen mountains in Hungary's far northeast, Tokaj is where the world-famous sweet aszú wine of the same name is produced.
It was declared a World Heritage Site in 2002 under the name Tokaj Hegyalja Region Historic Cultural Landscape.
Tokaj - Tokaji - Tokay?
Tokaj: Name of the historical town and centre of the Tokaj-Hegyalja wine region (Hegyalja means foothills).
Tokaji: lit. 'from Tokaj'; The name of the varietals produced in the Tokaj region.
Tokay: Used in the English-speaking world, probably to ease right pronunciation, describing the world-famous, topaz-coloured dessert wine
Here, warm Septembers and Octobers, combined with moist conditions, create noble rot, a benevolent form of fungus affecting wine grapes. These botrytised grapes are picked one by one into buckets, called puttony. The higher the puttonyos number, the higher the natural sugar residue.
If you've tasted Tokaji wine, described by Louis XIV as "The wine of kings and the king of wines", you might expect Tokaji Furmint to be one of the same honeyed dessert wines the Hungarian region is famous for.
But Furmint is something very different: A new, incredibly exciting white wine that is deliciously dry and best enjoyed as an aperitif.
The Furmint grape is one of the world's most unsung varieties, and since
the first bottle of Tokaji Furmint was introduced in 2000, it has been consistently championed by connoisseurs who compare it to the finest white wines of Burgundy and the Mosel.
Harslevelu is a white grape that may be hard to pronounce, but it is the second most widely planted grape in Hungary, and makes up approximately 18% of the vines in Tokaj. It is most famous as one of the three grapes that make up the sweet wines of Tokaji, where it is added to Furmint and Muscat to bringto the blend. floral aromas and richness to the blend.
These days it is also increasingly appearing on its own as dry varietal white such as this one from the Zsirai sisters. The name Harslevelu translates as “Linden Leaf,” and good examples of Harslevelu wines are powerfully aromatic, rich, green-gold, with linden honey flavours.
Tokaji wines are perfect for the festive season, both as gift for colleagues, business partners and family as well as on the festive table.
Have a look at our extensive Tokaji range in our webshop and enjoy some real fine wines to suit a variety of tastes and occasions.
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