Imperial Tokay

Appears in

Oxford Companion to Wine

Oxford Companion to Wine

By Jancis Robinson

Published 2006

  • About

Imperial Tokay, historical name used for wine produced on the vineyard properties of the Austrian Habsburg emperors in the tokaj-Hegyalja region of Hungary, especially during the 19th century. The Habsburg holdings were concentrated in the village of Tarcal, particularly the highly respected Szarvas vineyard that had been confiscated from the rebellious Prince Ferenc Rákóczi II in 1711. The term became widely known in western Europe following the creation of the Austro-Hungarian Monarchy in 1867. However, Imperial Tokay was usually misunderstood either as being necessarily far superior to all other Tokaji wines, or as being an alternative term for Eszencia.