Pajzos was established in 1991 by 12 investors. One of the key investors is the current owner, Jean-Louis Laborde. He was in the background of life at Pajzos until 1997. In 2000, he secured 100% ownership of Megyer and a majority share of Pajzos, and thus assumed management of the companies. Since then, Pajzos wines have found their place at dinner tables, prestigious restaurants and exclusive gala dinners in numerous countries, building the fame of the Tokaj wine region and Tokaji wines. In 1737 the Tokaj Wine Region was declared the first closed wine region in the world; since 2002 it has belonged to the UNESCO World Heritage. The area of 6202 hectares (15,325 acres) lies in Northeastern Hungary, in a triangle between the Sátor hills of Abaújszántó and Sátoraljaújhely and the Kopasz hill in Tokaj.
Traditional Tokaj grape varieties including Furmint, Hárslevelű, Sárgamuskotály, Kövérszőlő, Zéta, Kabar are only varieties that can receive the Protected Designation of Origin, Tokaji. Wines created in the Tokaj Wine Region have a unique character, a distinct minerality. They have a wonderfully taut acid structure and offer wines perfect for a light or a heavier meal or simply to enjoy during a pleasant afternoon chat with friends. In the 16th century, Tokaji wines superseded the role of Syrmian wines to become the favoured drink at the royal Hungarian court. The noble Tokaji wines soon became the favourite at the dinner table of ruling families of Europe, often the crowning glory at the end of great feasts. Louis XIVth regarded it as simply the “king of wines”. The uniqueness of Tokaji wines is assured by the combination of several factors:
- the uniqueness of the grape varieties established centuries ago in the wine region and their unparalleled acid-sugar balance
- the optimal environmental assets for sweet wine production: the hills and rivers which embrace the wine region, Bodrog and Tisza, whose high humidity allow the development of Botrytis cinerea (noble rot) and thus the creation of Aszú wines
- the minerality transferred to the wines from the volcanic soils gives sweet wines distinctive aromas and dry wines a special character
- aging in barrels (varying degrees of toasting) made from mainly local oak grown in the forests of the nearby Zemplén mountains
Pajzos Vineyard On this southwest-facing land with excellent attributes, brown earth with clay strips mixes with andesite tuff. The ground has excellent heat-retaining properties so grapes ripen beautifully and become supreme aszú berries. This last feature is thanks to the microclimate and Zsadány stream bordering the south of the area which provides the humidity necessary for the development of the Botrytis. Oak forests close the area to the north. Pajzos Vineyard is 87 hectares of which 54 are currently producing. There are 17 hectares of Hárslevelű, 17 hectares of Sárgamuskotály, 22 hectares of Furmint, as well as experimental plantations established by the winery in recent years of Zéta, Kabar, Gohér and Kövérszőlő. The majority of Hárslevelű was planted in the 1970s; more recent plantings took place between 2000 and 2004, and these brought their first harvests in 2007.
Megyer Vineyard Megyer Vineyard has a southern aspect, southeast-southwest facing. It has variable soils, with strongly mixed rhyolite tuff is a soft rock that weathers and is excellent for creating wines with high extract content. The microclimate is much cooler than in Pajzos Vineyard and the lower number of sunshine hours, as well as lower humidity, mean the grapes ripen later and aszú berry development is slower than in Pajzos. The microclimate and soil make this land primarily suited to creating dry wines. Megyer Vineyard is 109 hectares of which 63 hectares are currently in production: 24 hectares of Furmint, 23 hectares Hárslevelű, 10 hectares of Sárgamuskotály, 6 hectares of Chardonnay.