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Tokaji Aszú wine, a sweet white, is Hungary’s most famous wine. Once called “the wine of king and the king of wines,” Tokaji’s production began around 1650. Hungarian folklore tells that the effect of noble rot was discovered in Hungary in 1650, even before it became used in Germany. The Tokaj region in the Northern Massif ensures the humidity and lingering summers that allow for Noble Rot to infiltrate nearly every vine of the grapes.

Tokaji wine can be made by three different grapes: Furmint, Háarslevelü and Sarga Muskotály. Furmint grapes have a high acid content and thick skin that ripens late in the season.The Háarslevelü grape gives a flatter wine with a rich bouquet. The Sarga Muskotály has a citrus zest of green herbs and can create dry or sweet wines.

Tokaji Aszú, the rich desert wine is most often made of Furmint; it’s special essence comes from the nobly rotten (Aszú, in Hungarian) grapes. The smoky flavor in the glass varies depending on the grape’s growing environment and exposure to air. As the Tokaji ages longer in the small, squat barrels typical of Hungarian cellars, the smoky, toasty flavors increase, and fruity or floral essences recede.