Royal Tokaji: History

Royal Tokaji is the story of the revival of this great region. Hungary has had a long and difficult history. Often invaded, the current country is about one-third of its original size. After World War II, Hungary was under Communist rule and Tokaj Aszuú had fallen by the wayside.

There were very few small producers who on the side would still make wines for their families, and those were the wines that kept the tradition alive. Royal Tokaji’s founder, Hugh Johnson, the noted wine writer, when he was writing his first World Atlas of Wine traveled to the region. Every house has a cellar and he went to some of these private cellars and tasted the wine. He realized that Tokaj and the Aszú wines were the last undiscovered great wine region. The wines which at once fetched the highest prices in the world had now fallen into disrepute.

With the fall of Communism, Hugh was able to put together a group of just over 60 individual growers to work together the found the Royal Tokaji Wine Company which is how Royal Tokaji was lucky enough to get so many unique single-vineyard, first-growth wines in its portfolio. The growers provided the grapes, Royal Tokaji brought in outside expertise, and it’s been a long mission to re-learn the skills which made this wine great.

A series of connections led Royal Tokaji to Jack Daniels and Win Wilson, and, as always, Jack and Win are very selective in their portfolio. Jack and Win took the first shipment of Tokaji wines into the U.S. market. Now, 23 years down the line, Royal Tokaji feels that it hitting its stride.

Audrey Marek, July 16, 2017

July 16, 2017

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