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Five Secrets about the Gróf Degenfeld Wine Estate

Even the lovers of the Tokaj region might not be aware of the facts we are going to reveal in this article.

1. The christening of Muscat Lunel to Muscat Blanc

The Muscat Lunel, i.e. the Yellow Muscat, is a really ancient type of wine. It is said that Frederick Barbarossa warmed up with this before battles.

Our estate was the first in the wine region to produce a semi-dry Muscat Lunel in 1996, thus creating a new style in Hungary, which soon became very popular among costumers at home and abroad. However, a few years later the French legally protected the Muscat Lunel name, so the new brand that had been made well known and popular by the Degenfeld family had to be renamed to Muscat Blanc. But the new name could not alter the popularity of this wine, and it has always been a favorite since then. During the years our semi-dry Yellow Muscat has been rewarded by several prizes, last time it won gold medal at the International Organic Wine Award in 2020.

2. A Pioneer’s Role among the Hungarian Organic Wine Makers

In 1857 Count Imre Degenfeld used to take part in the work of the Tokaj Hill Wine Makers’ Society as one of its founding fathers, and together with other producers and wine experts of this region they started a new tradition.  They claimed their primary goal as to raise and standardize the quality of wine making in the region, by providing the basic rules to mark the path for this development. As a result of their work the palette of products of our time has been created.

Since 1995 we have the possibility to take over and continue what our family had started. From the 100-hectare-estate 35 hectares are cultivated, producing organic wines. Our philosophy has not changed, only our methods. Tokaj is a most perfect site for wine making, and it is our goal and also our responsibility to preserve it, cultivating it organically, together with the best experts and in a modern way

3. Szamorodni is not an old category

The Szamorodni has only been marked since the first half of the 19th century. Its first producers and consumers used to be polish people. The word “samorodny” is of polish origin, too, meaning “grown on its own, or by its own”, i.e. the healthy and the botrytised aszú berries stay together on the bunch, and they are processed together and made into wine together. Besides the classical Tokaji Szamorodni last year we produced a 100 % Yellow Muscat Szamorodni, called Szamorodni Selection, which is the first in the history of the estate, and which has already won a gold medal at the Mundus Vini wine award.


4. Distinctive territories and characteristic wines

Based on the fact that every wine making territory in the world has its own characteristics with different qualities, we are aware of the differences within our estate, too.

The Terézia vineyard behind the Gróf Degenfeld Castle Hotel**** is open to the Great Plain, so it is exposed to a lot of sunshine all around the year. These conditions are very advantageous for growing Hárslevelű and Yellow Muscat.

The Zomborka vineyard is located to the north, next to Mád, and its cooler volcanic soil can provide the best circumstances for our legendary Furmint. On the top of this hill there is an old, tarnished plantation called Borkút, which is the only territory that had not been replanted. These noble vines with their deepest roots can produce the best quality Furmint every year.

5. The Healing Power of the Aszú

There are a lot of vitamins in the grapes (A, B1, B2, B6, C, K and potassium), so not surprisingly its healing power has always been known and used, and it is true for the wines which are made out of them, too. According to a legend, Paracelsus (1493-1541) had studied the healing effect of the Aszú of Tokaj back in the 16th century.  This legend lasted for nine decades, but later it has been overthrown. However, as several sources testify it, the Aszú was used in healing due to its antibiotic effect centuries ago. In the low alcohol essence which was called the “Nectar of Tokaj” this wholesome effect is even stronger.  Already in the 1800s a liquor called Vinum Tokajense Passum was sold in Pharmacies. According to memoirs and chronicles kings and queens like Joseph II and Maria Teresa, or the writer-philosopher Voltaire drank Tokaj wines from time to time on medical recommendation.

At the Gróf Degenfeld Wine Estate the essence is produced with the same technology as 500 years ago, but since the factory was established there has only been two years when this precious liquor could be produced.


leo papa aszut kap

Picture: The Austrian emperor sent Tokaji wine to Pope Leo XIII.



3915 Tarcal, Terézia kert 9.