The most famous wine Hungary is located after the city of Tokaj in the northeast of the country near the borders with Slovakia and the Ukraine named. The word "Tokaj" is probably of Hunnish-Turkish origin and means something like "forest by the river". It was first mentioned at the end of the 11th century in a chronicle describing the passage of a Cuman army across the Tisza river at "Thocoyd". King Václav IV (1235-1270) founded Hungarian viticulture on a larger scale, the first upswing in the Tokaj region in the 13th and 14th centuries. When the very first Tokaj Aszú was produced in its present form, it can no longer be ascertained, but it is certainly one of the first wines to botrytised very sweet Berries were won.
There are many legends about the "invention" of the Tokay. Allegedly, a Tokaji Aszú was already presented in 1562 at the Council of Trent Pope Pius IV (1499-1565), whereupon he remarked: "Summum pontificem talia vina decent!" ("Such wine belongs to the papal table" or "wine Tállya belongs to the papal table "- because the word" talia "can mean" Tállya "but also" such "). Already in 1590 the term "Asszu szolo Bor" (wine from Aszúbeeren) appears in the posthumously published work "Nomenclatura" by Balázs Szikszai-Fabricius (+1576). And in 1635 on a list of Rákóczi cellar "7 barrel (the Göncer barrel was the standard size) and 2 Àntalag (= small barrel) Aszúszölö-Bor "(= Aszútrauben wine) mentioned.
The estate of Prince György Rákóczi I (1600-1660) also included Tokaj-Hegyalja Tokay. When around 1650 another Turkish raid was imminent, court tycoon Máté Szepsi-Laczkó decided with the vintage to wait until the danger is banned. During the long and sunny autumn, the berries began to shrink and the noble rot began. The winegrowers were instructed to harvest grapes from the vineyard Oremus to squeeze separately. At Easter of the year 1651, the first "Tokay eruption" (or as Trockenbeerenauslese the wine was called at that time) serves the princess Zsuzsanna Lorántffy. The Hungarians still honor Szepsi-Laczkó today as "Aszú inventor".
From the 17th century, the Tokay played an important role in many European courts. Royal lovers were Franz Joseph I, Maria Theresa Frederick the Great, Victoria I and William II. Many famous writers, poets and composers mentioned the Tokay in their works. That was Ludwig van Beethoven, Johann Wolfgang von Goethe (Faust), Heinrich Heine (Book of Songs), Friedrich von Schiller (Wallenstein), Franz Schubert, Bram Stoker (Dracula), Johann Strauss son (bat), Theodor Körner (in a song), Nikolaus Lenau (Mishka on the Tisza) and Voltaire (Proof of God). In 1733, the Russian Tsar Court in the city of Tokaj set up its own wine purchasing commission. The Tsarina Elisabeth Petrovna Romanova (1709-1762) ordered by letter on November 8, 1745, a delivery of 375 barrels and noted as a postscript: "And if there is only one possibility, send at least three Antal (barrels of about 75 Liter), which I can not get anywhere here, where I can not be without the wine, as you know ".
Under her successor, Catherine the Great (1729-1796), there was a special Cossack detachment whose job it was to escort the supplies to their residence in St. Petersburg. The French Sun King Louis XIV. (1638-1715) awarded him the title "Vinum Regnum - Rex Vinorum", in German " Wine of Kings - King of Wines ". The Tokay was also often used as a diplomatic weapon. When the Turks were expelled from Budapest in 1686, Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II (1676-1735) wanted to establish the now liberated Hungary as an independent, national kingdom. In order to ally with Louis XIV, he sent this one noble Tokay from his estates. Emperor Franz-Joseph I (1830-1916) used the wine for diplomatic purposes, he greeted the English Queen Victoria (1819-1901) every year on their birthday with a broadcast Aszú.
The heyday of the Tokaj wine-growing and wine trade was in the heyday of the Rákóczi and Bercsényi ruling families in the 17th and 18th centuries. During this period, most of the innumerable wine cellars (counted 185 in Tokaj alone in 1967) were dug into the loess soils, for which there was a cellar digger's own profession. From the last third of the 18th century there was a decline, on the one hand by military events, whereby the vineyards remained unprocessed or destroyed, on the other hand by economically prescribed measures, especially in the reign of Maria Theresa (1717-1780). It was permitted only so much export of Tokaj wines, as was introduced to Austrian wines. In 1745, the Empress of the Russian Tsarina Elisabeth (1709-1762) sent 600 bottles of it. Pope Benedict XIV (1675-1758) also received a program, which thanked him with an extraordinary Quote,
Also, the wine counterfeiting that took place on a large scale in Hungary and many other countries in the 19th century contributed to the bad reputation of the Tokay. In wine books there were even detailed recipes, for example, was in a work from 1875: Take 100 liters of regular wine; 15 l of raisin essence; 0.5 l bitter almond essence; 0.1 l elderflower essence; 4 kg of sugar; 0.5 kg caramel; 4 kg glitter and 6 l 80% alcohol. At a wine merchant in Vienna-Döbling, such wine could be ordered waggon-wise at a ridiculous price. wine adulteration were then commonplace. During the communist period after the Second World War, there was a total decline of Tokay culture. Almost all major wineries were...