The Tokaji region in north-east Hungary was producing sweet, botry tised wines two hundred years before the first Sauternes - by 1700 the wi nes were being drunk by royalty across Europe. The region suffered heavily durin g the war and during the reign of communism until 1989. When communism finally fell, investment flooded into the region, largely from the Royal Tokaji Company.
Furmint is the dominant grape in Tokaji, and Aszú in the n ame refers simply to the dried, nobly-rotted grapes, which are hand-picked from the vines. The number of puttonyos is an indication of sweetness, with tw o the driest and six the sweetest. A wine of 7 puttonyos is known as Aszú Es sencia and is only produced in the very best years. Aszú Essencia is incred ibly sweet and is one of the greatest dessert wines in the world.