Tokaj is part of the World Heritage Sites, as well as Hungary’s best-known wine region, famous for its dessert wine the Tokaji Aszú. Tokaj’s microclimate provides the ideal conditions to produce this world-class wine. The south-facing slopes, the nearby Tisza and Bodrog rivers and the warm summers, and long, sunny autumns all play a part in the proliferation of botrytis (nobel rot), giving the wine its unique taste. The grapes are harvested late in the season when they are covered with botrytis, making their skin thinner to produce this unique wine with high alcohol, acid and sugar content. The most famous wine of the Tokaj-Hegyalja region is the Aszú, well liked by many artists and dignitaries. Louis XIV famously called it the "Wine of Kings, King of Wines".
The quality of the Szamorodni and Aszú wines is determined by the amount of grapes the wine contains. The higher the amount the better the quality.
Furmint is the key player, followed by Hárslevelű and Sárgamuskotály (Yellow Muscat).
Tokaji Aszú, Tokaji Furmint, Tokaji Hárslevelű, Tokaji Eszencia
Degenfeld, Demeter, Disznókő, Majoros Pince, Royal Tokaji, Sauska, Szepsy
Tokaj is popular with wine tourism. Tokaj was one of the first regions to start restoring the fame of Hungarian wine. Tokaj also attracted a number of financial investors who saw the potential of developing the infrastructure for both, wine tourism and for the production of high quality wine. Wineries in Tokaj are open for wine tasting and they are in close proximity to each other.
While the town of Tokaj is undoubtedly the must-see destination, the Tokaj Wine Region has many other small villages worth exploring. One of them is Erdőbénye, a beautiful village that has long been a center of traditional barrel making. Erdőbénye comes alive every summer in the 'Wine, Shine, Bénye Festival' held in August.
Getting there from Budapest
Tokaj is a two and a half hour drive from Budapest. Take highway M3 then M30 towards Miskolc, followed by routes 37 and 38 to Tokaj. There are no direct bus routes and the connections available via Eger or Debrecen are inconvenient, taking several hours. Trains run from both Nyugati and Keleti Railway Stations. The trip can take up to four hours depending on the service and the connections.