Château Dereszla

The Dereszla winery has one of the richest histories of any in the Tokaj Region. Indeed, the very history of Hungary itself can be traced through the cellar’s past. The first written record of Dereszla dates back to the early 15th century: a stock list of King Zsigmond’s property held in the cellars that were used to collect and store the levies paid by his subjects, usually in the form of wine.

Over the next two hundred years, ownership of both Dereszla and of Hungary passed from Hungarian hands to Turkish, Austrian and then Transylvanian before returning to Hungarian control under the Rákóczi family. After a series of inheritances and the War of Independence, the newest and uppermost part of the present-day cellar ended up as the property of a Jewish merchant family from the early 19th century until it was nationalised after the Holocaust. During Hungary’s subsequent Communist regime, Dereszla was owned by the Tokaj Wine Co-operative that gathered grapes and matured wines from all over the Tokaj wine region. In the post-Communist 1990s, a wave of privatisation began and it became the property of CANA, the biggest French agricultural co-operative society.

In 2000, following several years of neglect, the D’Aulan family from Champagne realised that this estate, with its rich heritage, was well worth renovating. After renewing the equipment and introducing the latest technology, they linked the estate's five separate cellars to form one larger, more practical space 1100 metres in length.

The present Dereszla winery was completed in 2007, and it includes a new processing plant, a logistics centre and an administration unit. These new buildings follow the style of the estate's historical pressing house and cellar entrance. Since 2008, modernisation has continued at Dereszla thanks to funding from the EMVA - a joint project between the European Union and Hungary.

The estate owns 27 hectares of vineyards spread across the designated “Grand Cru” area, and the large diversity of soils throughout these holdings is a crucial factor in the complexity of their wines. In fact, there are 15 distinct terroirs at Dereszla, each adding to the complexity of the resulting wines which range from dry to luscious and sweet. The base wines are mainly based on the Furmint grape variety, unique to the region, with Muskotaly also adding complexity to the late harvest and Aszú wines.

Tokaj (formerly known as Tokaj-Hegyalja) has long been Hungary’s most famous and respected wine region, thanks mostly to its nectar-like, botrytised Tokaji dessert wines. The region and its wine are held in such esteem in Hungary that the Hungarian national anthem thanks God that Tokaj szőlővesszein nektárt csepegtettél ("into the vineyards of Tokaj you dripped sweet nectar"). Yes, these wines really are that good.
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