Winegrowers Battle for their Tokaj Region

The Tokaj Wine Association has called on the government to finalise talks with Hungary so it can define the Tokaj region.

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A petition with 1,200 signatures was presented to the government this week by association head Pavol Eftimov, requesting that the tokaj region be defined to include seven towns and villages in the south-east of the country.

Eftimov is also complaining that agriculture minister Zsolt Simon is negotiating with Hungary on Tokaj issues, but without the participation of those in the wine business, pointing to how they were always involved before in bilateral talks of this kind. They claim Simon is not interested in hearing their opinions at all, and does not even notify them about what is happening.

Simon didn’t comment, but ministry spokeswoman Monika Szabova said no information could be revealed until talks were concluded with Hungary and the European Commission. She pointed out, though, that the demands set out in the Association’s petition are disadvantageous.

Slovak laws recognises only specific plots of land for cultivation of Tokay wine grapes and so only 980 hectares are designated for this. The Association fears that minister Simon is being pressured to cut this volume further, possibly down to 565 hectares only. Hungary’s Tokay region covers a generous 12,000 hectares.


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