Royal Tokaji: A Wine in Every Vintage
Meet Ben Howkins, international sales director for Royal Tokaji in Tokaj, Hungary.
We made our first vintage in 1990, the second in 1991, a little in 1992, and then came the great vintage of 1993: The mist moved seamlessly around the Tokaj Hill and trapped the vineyards, so we made a very rich wine in 1993.
At this point, we realized they were not able to produce an aszú wine every year — one in three is the average — but when you’re starting, you don’t know when that one in three is going to be.
For the first 12 years, we produced only aszú wines when the vintages would allow. We wanted to be known for producing uniquely aszú wines, and not in every year.
For the past five or six years, we realized that we needed to be able to produce a wine in the non-aszú harvest years, so we created the Mád Cuvée Late Harvest and the (dry) Furmint wines that are released with every vintage.