Royal Tokaji: Prince Rakoczi II and the Classificatin of 1700
The Tokaj wine region of Hungary was the first wine region to be classified. In 1700, Prince Rakoczi II visited Hungary’s 28 vineyards to determine which was producing the highest-quality grapes. By 1730, he awarded great-first-growth status to two vineyards — one of which is owned by Royal Tokaji (Mézes Mály) — as well as first- and second-growth status to the other vineyards throughout Hungary. The first Bordeaux classification was in 1855; Port was earlier than that; thus, Europe’s first sweet wines were Tokaji Aszú wines.