Tokaj Region

" Incipit in Sátor, desinit in Sátor" ... as it is said and it is true that Hegyalja is located from Sátorhegy of Abaújszántó till Sátorhegy of Sátoraljaújhely. The wine-region has a V-shape including the Tokaj-Kopasz Mountain. This is the area, which includes those 28 townships, which have a right to produce wines under the Tokaj name. A proof of the leaves of "Vitis tokaiensis" from Miocene geological age was explored in Erdõbénye. We believe that this fact that science knew this ancient plant -which was originally ranged widely- from Tokaj wine region represents a symbolic value. At the same time this fossil proves that the vine is an endemic plant in Tokaj. Hegyalja is not only quarry of fossil Vitis tokaiensis but is still natural habitat for the much younger ancient vine called Vitis sylvestris from Liget.

The first rules and acts, which regulated all activities regarding vine growing, winemaking, taxation and commerce were issued from early 17th century. It was limited by special Royal Decree in 1737 vine-growing areas of Tokaj region and Tokaj wines, which presents the importance of this region. At the same time, we know of similar significant acts regarding the Portuguese wines only.
This very strict protection of quality and origin from centuries is one of the secrets of its excellent quality, and why Tokaj wines have become world-famous. Another reason is the unique microclimate due to the special geology and geography, which makes these wines unique. Finally the weather influences the quality of vintage significantly and the probability of evolution of noble rot "aszú" berries in the given vintage at all.

The rainy weather at the end of summer or early September starts the special overriping process. In that case a long warm and sunny autumn follows the rainy period with chilly and misty early mornings, the Botrytis Cinerea would be multiplied and starting the process of evolution of aszú-berries, the botrytisation. For creating special quality Tokaj wines needs phenomenal taste, bouquet and aroma, which are concentrated in the berries only when the above-mentioned lucky period happens. If the rainy period is too long and the number of sunny hours are too low, the process of botrytisation can't happen and results in gray mould rot, which destroys the bunches of grapes. It frequently happens that spent 3-4 years is when we can speak about "aszú" vintage.

Illés Pince

Illés Pince
Erdőbénye, Kossuth u. 1.
+36 (47) 396 102
illespince [at]