History of Tokaji Wine

When you buy a Tokaji wine from the Ideal Wine Company, you walk away with a vintage that has long been hailed as the “wine of kings.”

What is Tokaji wine?

Tokaji is a sweet white wine that’s produced in the Tokaj region of Hungary and South-Eastern Slovakia. It’s the world’s oldest botrytised wine, meaning that it’s produced through an ancient process which uses grapes that have developed “noble rot.”

The interesting thing is that we call it the world’s oldest botrytised wine, but we don’t actually know for sure. This is because nobody knows how long the peoples of Hungary have been making this classic sweet white. According to legend, people have been cultivating vines on the volcanic soil of the Tokaj region since Magyar, or even Celtic times.

Wine of kings

What we do know, according to Royal Tokaji, is that by the end of the 17th Century Tokaji had become regarded as one of the best vintages in the world by the courts of Europe. It was held in such high esteem that it was labelled the “wine of kings” by many Central European courts, and given a very special honour.

This is the time that Prince Rakoczi of Hungary turned Tokaji into the first wine in the world to be subject to appellation control. This was 120 years before France granted the same honour to the bottles of Bordeaux. The prince extended appellation control to 28 villages across the region.

Turbulent history

However Tokaji was forced to come down from this heady high as the world careened into the 20th Century and went to war. The region was a part of the Austro-Hungarian Empire. When the Empire fell at the end of World War One, a portion of its area was ceded to the newly created Czechoslovakia, never to be whole again.

However, the 20th Century event that had the biggest effect on the production of Tokaji was the rise of communism. Hungary became a communist country at the end of World War Two, when it fell under the influence of the Soviet Union. The county adopted Marxist principles, and Tokaji wine production was forced to fall into line. It’s bottling and distribution were monopolised by the state. However, since the fall of the Iron Curtain in 1990 a number of independent wineries have once again grown up in Tokaj.

Buy Tokaji

Tokaji is a wine that has earned its reputation as the “wine of kings,” justifying the decision to subject it to appellation control by surviving everything the 20th Century had to throw at it. See why Tokaji has remained one of the world’s most popular sweet white wines for centuries by purchasing a bottle from the Ideal Wine Company right now!


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