Royal Tokaji
Royal Tokaji
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ROYAL TOKAJI
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Tokaji's fortified past
 
07 January 2014
 
 
In Decanter's Notes & Queries, Lesley Norman of Pembrokeshire asks 'A friend assures me that Tokaji used to be fortified. I'm sure it's not now, so when did it change? I've never seen it classified as a fortified wine.'



Hugh Johnson, co founder of the Royal Tokaji Wine Company, replies 'The veteran cellarmaster in the historic state cellars at Tolcsva told me on my first visit in 1970 that Tokay (as it was called then) was often given a drop of brandy before shipping to its potentate customers (the Tsar, Emperor, King of Poland, etc). Whether this was to stabilise it en route (probable) or because it could taste a bit liquid to a hardened drinker (possible) was unclear'.

Istvan Turoczi, managing director of the Royal Wine Company, adds 'Many wines were fortified during the Communist regime until 1993, when the law changed to forbid it. It was a fairly usual procedure in family-owned cellars'.

Extract from Decanter, January 2014