Tokaj wine region, situated in the North-East of Hungary is famous for its sweet wines made of shrivelled berries due to the influence of noble rot, as known as Botrytis cinerea. Tokaj has a long history of producing dessert wines with traditional method.
Tokaj – much before Bordeaux
According to the legend the first Tokaji Aszú was made by Máté Szepsi Laczkó in 1630 and ’tokaji’ was served as early as the era of Louis the 14th French king in Versailles, in the royal palace, since the epicurean king adored the sweet wines of Tokaj. ’Wine of the kings, king of the wines’ – commented the ruler when he offered his favourite wine to his mistress, Madame de Pompadour. The saying in latin is often quoted as well: Vinum Regnum, Rex Vinorum.
Few experts know, but Tokaj was the very first in the world to introduce the system of appellations controlled, 120 years before Bordeaux classification! From as early as 1730 Tokaj vineyards (altogether 5500 hectares) were classified as first, second or third growth. 800 hectares out of the 5500 were classsified as first growth.
Only 6 grape varieties are allowed to grow in Tokaj wine region: Furmint (60%), Hárslevel? (30%), Muskotály (Yellow Muscat), Kövérsz?l?, Zéta (Furmint x Bouvier), Kabar (Hárslevel? x Bouvier). The wine region has unique climate, and its soil is mainly of volcanic origin with a smaller propotion of loess, and with high concentration of iron and limestone.
Dereszla – a royal winery from the beginning
The first written records of Dereszla Winery are dated back to as early as 1406, since Dereszla belonged to the Hungarian king’s court in the 15th and 16th century. Chateau Dereszla winery was founded in the 18th century. Due to investments after the year 2000, the entire technical background has been renewed, new stainless steel tanks were built is, new pressing and bottling plant have been installed. After the complete renewing of the technical part, the one kilometre long historic underground cellar has been reconstructed, then the storehouse and other service facilities have been updated to the latest technology.