Wines of Hungary

Tokaj, like Jerez and Champagne, has successfully faced a challenge over the provenance of its name and as of 2007 all other countries in the European Union are prohibited from using the term “Tokaj” or its derivatives (Tokay, Tocai) on labels, regardless of any actual similarity to the wine. Alsatian producers lost the right to produce Pinot Gris as Tokay d’Alsace and Italian producers rechristened Tocai Friulano as simply Friulano. While Tokaj is certainly Hungary’s most famous product of the vine, wine is produced throughout the country. In 2000, two decades after the fall of Communism, 22 total wine appellations were identified in Hungary. With the EU’s recent reforms, this number of regions qualifying for PDO status has increased to 31, with 6 additional PGI areas. These are divided among three major geographical zones of production: the Northern Massif, the western region of Transdanubia, and the southern Great Plain.

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