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Louis XIV of France hailed Tokaji as the king of wines. It was then the most highly-prized wine of Europe, valued for medicinal properties as well as for its rich yet refreshing flavours. Even today it remains remarkable, for no other wine is made in the same way. It is also indestructible, and the best wines can easily age for two centuries.

The 6,000ha (14,820 acres) of vineyards lie on volcanic soil in Hungary and eastern Slovakia, close to the Ukrainian border. They over-look the floodplain of the River Bodrog, where rising autumnal mists provoke widespread noble rot or botrytis cinerea in the principal grape varieties, Furmint, Harslevelu and Sarga Muskoyaly (Muscat Lunel).

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