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Tokaj Wine Region - Waiting for white smoke

Probably a rare example of a nice compromise in Central Europe - at least in terms of national symbols - could have been achieved under the only one cross-border wine region in the European Union, Tokaj.

9 December 2011

War of words over Tokaj

Tokaji in Hungarian, hailed as “the king of wines and the wine of kings” by King Louis XIV of France

Historic and modern grievances keep relations between the two nations frosty.

There has been a long-running dispute between Hungary and Slovakia over the wine term “Tokaj”. Yet seven years negotiations between Hungary and Slovakia, they have failed to resolve their long-standing wine region dispute. An apprpriate agreement would soften - at least symbolically - , the trauma of Hungarian history, Treaty of Trianon, and - say it right away - wine producers in Slovakia would expect better prospects for the future.


Vulgar politics lie ahead

SLOVAKIA’s State Language Act is not the only sore point between Slovakia and its neighbour Hungary. The two countries have also been unable – so far – to settle a disagreement over Tokaj, a unique wine region spread across the eastern parts of both countries.Not to mention political style of Fico's government in Slovakia, knowing the relationship between the two countries, it is also a great achievement to have meaningful dialogue on the matter again at ministerial level in Budapest and Pozsony (Bratislava). The economic importance of this issue is to export wine under brand name of Tokaj to the world's major customers such as the United States where Slovakian wine producers were not very successful so far.

The story is about the ability of neighbouring nations who can eventually incumplate milestone agreement with political importance and business opportunity due to vulgar politics. The question of Borderless Europe is addressed from production, export as well as quality assurance perspectives with regard to Slovakia that is forced to give explanation about the nationalists and if the situation in Hungary - at the level of declarations at least - is pretty much the same.

Tokai Aszú Eszencia

Hungary and Slovakia Battle Over Tokaji Wine

War of words over Tokaj

The news is that the governments in both countries wisely recognized the fact: despite drawing boundary line in the of the wine region, the soil has remained the same, the sun still shines in the same way. If the technology and other rules would be kept in the same way, the wine would be just as good on both sides

If it was not about two countries, but two companies - and if it was not a question of prestige, but it would be an ISO certification - the agreement would have been reached long ago and the business could go on. Examples of cross-boarder companies could be taken from several countries if only because it is important for them to succeed.

Watch the video (Tokaj Wine Region)