Tokaj Wine Region
Péter Molnár, estate director of Patricius Winery, was elected president of Tokaj Wine Region Council of Wine Communities in April 2018. Since then work has been intensive, primarily serving the strategic development of the wine region.
As well as the world-famous vineyards of the historic Tokaj Wine Region, it also has towns and villages that play an important part in the life of the region. These include Tokaj, Bodrogkeresztúr, Bodrogkisfalud, Mád, Mezőzombor, Rátka, Szegi, Tarcal and Tállya. With a further 18 surrounding settlements (Abaújszántó, Bekecs, Bodrogolaszi, Erdőbénye, Erdőhorváti, Golop, Hercegkút, Legyesbénye, Makkoshotyka, Monok, Olaszliszka, Sárazsadány, Sárospatak, Sátoraljaújhely, Szegilong, Szerencs, Tolcsva, Vámosújfalu). These cover the lands administered by the 27 settlements of the Tokaj Wine Region. The entire World Heritage area enjoys legal protection as historical landscape.
“In Tokaj-Hegyalja with the right humility and good organization we have every opportunity to improve one of the most unique wine regions in the world. Of course, for that we have a lot of work to do. In 2018-19 we worked to create a system, to create the structure and the strategy so the work could begin,” said Péter Molnár.
For the first step the council looked at what needed to be done in each area. How viticulture, viniculture, trade, marketing, education, research and protection of origin should evolve. “We’ve started to take steps that will take it all in a sustainable direction. Obviously, this isn’t going to happen overnight, so we have to go step by step. I think the basis of it all is to be able to form a community in the region. It is around 27 settlements with 5,000 wine community members. It is not large in terms of world size, but it is a very, very special wine region,” says the President.
Few wine regions in the world have so many wines and wine categories that differ from each other so greatly in character. Good market potential is a given. “We want to move the whole system at once because every change affects everything. I think the wine region is moving in the right direction, but it is far from over, and we can only be truly successful if we can change the basics. Of course, we also need development at the wine region level.”
Péter Molnár said that positive processes are happening in both the domestic and foreign markets. “Wine culture is strengthening both here in Hungary and abroad. Since the change in political system massive changes have happened in wineries in Hungary, and thus also here in Tokaj. Many new wineries have been set up and that is very useful. That we work in over 400 dűlő in 27 towns and villages gives diversity to our wine region. Millions of years ago 400 volcanoes were very active in the area, and this made the bedrock and the vineyard characters so varied. It is this diverse richness which gives Tokaji wines their specialness too. We can definitely be on the domestic and international markets, but we definitely can’t just sit back and relax.”