Tokaj’s location and climate are major factors in why the area has been able to develop and maintain such a dedicated and high quality culture of wine making. Situated in north east Hungary, the south eastern slopes of the Zemplen Hills provide shelter to the area, while the rivers Tisza and Bodrog and the surrounding wetlands, moors, and oak woods all play a part in creating the perfect microclimate suited to the cultivation of Tokaj vines, particularly when it comes to the process of botritys, the regular occurrence of autumnal “noble rot” which is essential for the production of aszu. It is this absolutely unique microclimate that has enabled the Tokaj region to produce its naturally sweet noble wines and excellent dry wines to a consistent and constant standard since the 16th century. Another important influence in the production of both sweet and dry white wines is the diversity of the region’s colourful soils and bedrock that are made up of an assortment of volcanic rock, multiple combinations of overlaying tuff, and varying depths of rich topsoil.
Tokaj’s grape varieties are primarily Furmint and Harslevelu, together with Kabar, Koverszolo, Sargamuskotaly (Yellow Muscat), and Zeta.
UNESCO classified Tokaj as a World Heritage Site in 2002 due to its long history of wine making, its cultural heritage and diversity, and the special climate and landscape of the region.