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OUT THERE
We’re going to start by assuming that you didn’t know that the Tokaj viticultural area extends into Slovakia, something that triggered a dispute between the Slovaks and Hungarians a few years ago that was settled in 2012 at the General Court of the European Union. As this part of Slovakia was once a part of Hungary, the Slovak story about Tokaj was often overlooked. Regardless of the geography and agricultural policies, the most typical product of this famous wine region are the Tokaj sweet dessert wines, obtained from grapes attacked by Botrytis cinerea and thereby causing the fermentation to occur at low temperatures. King Louis XIV of France once said that this is ‘the wine of Kings and King of wines’.

In cultivating the grapes they use a special microflora and a necrotrophic fungus, Botrytis cinerea, that causes a “noble” rotting of the grapes. From such overripe and mildew infected grapes they then hand pick the ripest berries and put them in 32-litre grape baskets. From these berries they get the must that is the main reason for the famous Tokaj and because of the high sugar content is very poorly fermented.

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STAY
There are many possibilities for accommodation for smaller incentive groups, one of which is staying with the lovely, hospitable Macik family. Their welcoming Bed & Breakfast in the village of Mala Trna can accommodate up to 23 guests. In addition to overnight accommodation they also offer fine cuisine in the heart of the wine region. Also popular among incentive groups is the Zlarna Putna boarding house, with its wholesome hotel and culinary offer.

If you are visiting this part of Slovakia as a part of a larger group, we suggest finding congress accommodation in Košice, Slovakia’s second largest city that is only an hour away. There are many options for congress hotels, from Yasmin and Double Tree by Hilton to smaller boutique hotels. Most wineries can accommodate groups of up to 100 people.

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MEET IN STYLE
We familiarized ourselves with the whole process of wine production in the Macik Winery, one of the more reputed Slovak wine cellars. It is considered a part of the Tokaj wine region, which on the Slovak side comprises of 908 hectares, or 17% of the total famed wine region. The fifth generation of winemakers continues the family tradition, which has been frequently awarded at different European wine festivals. At this special and magical place some of the best tipples to be had are with their Mono, Axism Tokaj Selection and Tokaj Classic wines.

The highlight of the wine adventure is a candlelit walk through the wine cellars, where new corners appear before your eyes with wine vintages of a venerable old age. Erika Macik is an excellent oenologist who adds an interesting and insightful story or two about Tokaj spiced with tales from the times when the winery was also used as hiding places before the Turkish raids.

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TOP 3 INCENTIVE IDEAS

1. Wines story of Slovak Tokaj – a wine tasting in the heart of the Macik wine cellar led by the outstanding Erika Macik. The onus is on you to be able to taste the characteristics and the differences between wines and vintages.

 

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2. Safari in the Tokaj region – A tour of the Tokaj region with off-road vehicles, where its hidden corners will be explored in a dynamic way. Refreshments and a meet with local winemakers are all included in the package.

 

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3. Cycling through the Tokaj region – The picturesque region can best be explored by a team building bicycle ride, with bikes available for rent at the Macik wine cellar.

macik-tokaj
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Although the production of Tokaj wines varies, all Tokaj wines are white and made from only three grape varietals, of which Furmit and Lipovina prevail. Tokaj is one of the oldest grape varieties in the world and its recognizable smell and taste put it among the most popular sweet white wines to go along superbly with deserts. However, a wide range of wine from the Macik cellars opens up completely new possibilities, as their dry Tokaj can be combined with a wide variety of dishes.

The open kitchen of the Union Brewery Pub cooks up a combination of some traditional Slovenian food with some modern cuisine, the menu offering both a broad food selection and price range, from a weekly menu serving lunch and snacks to à la carte food, house specials with beer, warm and cold appetizers, soups, steaks, desserts and more. A full choice is at your disposal – depending on how much time and money you have, of course.

The food offer is topped off with the house’s main focus – the beer from the Pivovarna Union brewery, where it has been brewed since 1867. They offer a huge choice of Union, Laško and Heineken beers, bottled and on tap, and the personnel is always there to help out with the right combination depending on your food choice.

With all of this it is no wonder that the Union Brewery Pub is featuring among the top rated experiences in Ljubljana and is very popular with tourists and locals.

The young master of the Macik wine estates is a big fan of Harley-Davidson motorbikes and as motorbikes and beer go hand in hand it is no surprise that, in cooperation with the Slovak craft brewery Kaltenecker, he brews his own craft beer, Tokaj Macik Winery Ipa and Tokaj Ipa. The beer is full-bodied with a citrus aftertaste and sweet raisin aroma reminiscent of the Tokaj wine. It can be found in all the better stocked wine bars in Bratislava, Košice and also elsewhere in Slovakia.

The Tokaj wine region is situated in the Lower Zemplín in the north-eastern corner of Slovakia. It is the smallest and most attractive wine-growing region of Slovakia.

The closest major airport is in Kosice, 44 miles (71km) north-east of the Tokaj region, with regular connecting flights to Prague and other Eastern European capitals. The fastest route is by car, taking the E-50 east from Kosice and then 79km south. The drive takes a little over an hour. Alternately, you can take a 45-minute train ride from Kosice to Trebisov and then the regional bus from Trebisov to Vinicky (approx 1 hour).

2004: AN ARGUMENT lasting almost 40 years between Slovakia and Hungary regarding the Tokaj wine trademark is finally coming to an end. The Agriculture Ministers of both countries signed an agreement on June 3 by which Hungary officially recognised that the Tokaj vineyard area is also located on Slovak territory.

macik_tokaj

DIRECTORY
TOKAJ MACIK WINERY s.r.o.
Medzipivničná 174
076 82 Malá Tŕňa, Slovakia
E: info@tokajmacik.sk
T: +421 56 679 34 66
www.tokajmacik.sk

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