A single bottle costs the price of a high-end car.
Tokaji wines are not only known and acknowledged here in Hungary, but they also represent high quality abroad. But did you know that the world's most expensive wine is also made here? A newly-released $40,000 bottle of 2008-vintage wine now ranks among the most expensive wines in the world at release. This is Tokaji Essencia, a unique sweet wine from the most famous Hungarian wine region. The high price of this special release bottle stems from both cost of production and scarcity. To produce a single magnum of the sweet, syrupy Essencia that Hungarian winemaker Royal Tokaji is now marketing for €35,000 a pop can require more than 400 pounds of grapes, not to mention a lengthy maturation. Each grape must be harvested by hand, placing Essencia among the most labor-intensive wines in the world. Fortune magazine also highlights that there are only 18 bottles of it.
The uniqueness of the essence lies in the fact that it is made of 100% aszú grapes, grapes that are almost raisin-like, without a basic wine added to dilutes its sweetness. The very high sugar content liquid is produced for a very long time, up to 8 years, in contrast to the few days or few weeks fermentation-ripening time of most wines. In addition, this special late-harvest wine also requires a graceful weather, which was given in 2008.