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Tokaj wine region - timeline

Tokaj in written sources

1074

First known mention of the name Tokaj in written sources.

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First mention of the Szentkereszt (Holy Cross) Vineyard

1187

First mention of the Szentkereszt (Holy Cross) Vineyard as part of the Tokaj Holy Cross Knights Hospitallers.

Hill in Tokaj

1200

First reference to Tarcalhegye, the hill in Tokaj today called Kopasz-hegy.

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First mention of the historic Mézesmál Vineyard

1283

First mention of the historic Mézesmál Vineyard that lies between Tokaj and Tarcal as part of the vineyard estates of the Holy Cross Convent in Ipolyság (today Šahy, Slovakia).

Wine from Tokaj was mentioned for the first time

1382

Wine from Tokaj was mentioned for the first time. According to the lawsuit, a consignment belonging to the Order of St Stephen Monastery in Budafelhévíz was looted by people serving the noble Kállay family.

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The royal free towns of Bártfa and Kassa

1467

The royal free towns of Bártfa and Kassa (today Bardejov and Košice in Slovakia) started to buy their vineyard estates in Nagy Sátor in Abaújszántó and Hasznos in Tállya.

The Reformation reached the wine region

1525

The Reformation reached the wine region and during the conversion the expression Hegyalja (literally Foothills) appeared which is today commonly used in Hungarian to refer to the Tokaj Wine Region.

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Alaghy family

1557

By 1632 the aristocratic Alaghy family had become one of the most powerful landowners in the wine region.

The first reference to Aszú

1571

The first reference to Aszú. In a will of the Garay family of Tokaj a large quantity of Aszú wine from Hétszőlő and Nagyszőlő was inventoried.

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Rákóczi family

1599

After small land acquisitions starting in 1599, the aristocratic Rákóczi family had become one of the most influential landowners in the wine region by 1711.

The first known mention of the Szarvas Vineyard

1624

The first known mention of the Szarvas Vineyard in Tarcal. György I Rákóczi, later Ruling Prince of Transylvania, purchased the land from István Privigyei of Kassa (today Košice, Slovakia).

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Thököly family

1622

The aristocratic Thököly family became one of the most influential landowners in the wine region up until 1685.

Creation of the Hegyalja Laws.

1641

Creation of the Hegyalja Laws. Representatives of the market towns in the region sat with wealthier citizens and noble landowners in Mád and Tállya to regulate ownership of vineyards and inheritance rules, as well as vineyard work and harvests.

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The first classification in the wine region

1670

The first classification in the wine region. The imperial court sequestered vineyard estates belonging to aristocrats involved organising in the anti-Habsburg Wesselényi Conspiracy that failed.

The first known mention of Eszencia

1699

The first known mention of Eszencia as “esszenciás bor”. It was made from grapes from vineyards belonging to the Rákóczi family.

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Hegyaljai törvények megszületése

1730-1733

Historian Mátyás Bél and János Matolay classified the vineyards of the Tokaj-Wine Region.

The first delimited wine region in the world

1737

Holy Roman Emperor and King of Hungary Charles VI (1711-1740) declared the wine region the first delimited wine region in the world.

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The state-owned Royal, or Crown, Estates were created by order of Empress and Queen Maria Theresa

1749

The state-owned Royal, or Crown, Estates were created by order of Empress and Queen Maria Theresa (1740−1780) on Henye (Terézia, Mézes-Mály) in Tarcal, Szarvas and Hétszőlő in Tokaj and Zsadányi in Sárazsadány.

Viticulture School was set

1845

The Tokaj Wine Region Viticulture School was set up in Sárospatak.

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Viticulturalist School was set

1873

The Viticulturalist School was set up on the Degenfeld Estate, Tarcal.

The phylloxera epidemic

1886

The phylloxera epidemic appeared in the wine region and caused enormous damage.

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Treaty of Trianon

1920

As a result of the Treaty of Trianon that officially ended WWI, the wine region lost Kistoronya and Szőlőske (today Malá Tŕňa and Viničky, Slovakia). Numerous vineyard owners were left on the other side of the border so most of them lost their lands in Tokaj-Hegyalja.

Time of nationalisation.

1950

Time of nationalisation. The state sequestered the vineyard estates of numerous citizens and aristocrats and these were unified into large tracts. The state wine company was set up, Tokaj-hegyaljai Állami Gazdaság, which later became Borkombinát.

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Privatisation

1990

Privatisation in the wine region started with the change in political system.

UNESCO World Heritage

2002

Tokaj-Hegyalja became part of the UNESCO World Heritage as a wine region.

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The Hungarian name of the wine region changed from Tokaj-Hegyalja to Tokaj

2004

The Hungarian name of the wine region changed from Tokaj-Hegyalja to Tokaj. The wine law passed at that time permitted production of Aszú to be carried out only in the Tokaj Wine Region.