Royal Tokaji was founded in 1990 by a small group of investors, including Hugh Johnson (one of the top wine writers in the UK; a statue of him sits in the courtyard of the winery), along with 62 small local growers. It was one of the first wineries to start working after Communism ended and foreign investors began to re-discover the potential of this almost forgotten region. The winery is housed on the main street in Mád in a stately old house which once belonged to the Zimmermans, a prominent Jewish wine family in Tokaj. In Tokaj, this cooperation between east and west resulted in wines which became cleaner, and better understandable dessert wines. Importantly, the wines continued to respect the tradition and the 500+ year history of Tokaji Aszú. This is an outstanding wine, with aromas of apricot, honey, orange peels, and spices. Its natural luscious sweetness is perfectly balanced by an uplifting fresh acidity, which is the result of Furmint and Hárslevelű grapes being grown on volcanic soil, combined with hot summers and muggy autumns, and with a long barrel ageing in deep, cool, mould-covered cellars. This is a brilliant example classic Tokaji Aszú, and 2009 was a wonderfully rich and ripe vintage.