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Image, marché et consommation des vins de Tokaj

Abstract : "Hungarian people like to talk about the international reputation of Tokaj wine. However, despite its genuinely illustrious past reputation, this assertion is contradicted by its weak current international market presence. Thence the wry and disillusioned formula heard in the region whereby Tokaj wine is “internationally renowned...throughout Hungary!”. In fact, until the First World War, Tokaj wine, especially the Aszù, a great sweet wine, rivalled champagne as a prestigious luxury wine consumed by the European elites. It was a series of dramatic events (world wars, collectivisation…) that led to its disappearance not only from the market for fine wines, but also as a reference and consumption habits for Western European consumers. After the economic transition of the 1990s and despite undeniable success in restructuring and upscaling its wine production, Tokaj is struggling to rebuild its image and attractiveness. True, the Aszù, fine dessert and tasting wine has fallen victim to the general move away from sweet wines, compounded by the fact that it doesn’t embody the same festive and celebratory dimension as champagne. At present it is only drunk on family occasions or when connoisseurs get together. Moreover, its high selling price is not conducive to wide consumption by a public increasingly on the lookout for wines with different values (conviviality, sharing, simplicity, etc.) and especially affordable, in cellars or in a restaurant. Faced with this new economic and social reality and international competition, Tokaj producers need to refocus their strategy in order to revive the market and restore the reputation of these wine and of the region. This adaptation takes several ways : - First, in terms of production, with the simplification and diversification of the wines range: the designation “Aszù” is now reserved for wines with the highest sugar level, the others are classified as “late harvest”, more easily understandable everywhere in the world; Increase in single-variety dry white wines, which are more in line with current consumer tastes as well as being cheaper; Emergence of sparkling wines, something that is totally new for Tokaj. - From a communication perspective then, with the construction of a new image that resonates with international marketing codes: modernization of labels; creation of "fashionable" brands that speak to younger consumers, etc. But will all this be enough to (re)establish Tokaj among the world’s great wines? This is the question we will attempt to answer in this conclusion. This presentation will deal with information gathered from surveys and empirical studies over the past twenty years on the ground among those involved in wine production, and from a specific study of changes in Tokaj wines market."
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Submitted on : Tuesday, January 4, 2022 - 11:59:14 AM
Last modification on : Wednesday, January 26, 2022 - 3:11:03 PM

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Aline Brochot. Image, marché et consommation des vins de Tokaj. Territoires du Vin, Université de Bourgogne Franche Comté, Chaire Unesco "Culture et traditions du vins", MSH Dijon, 2021, 13. ⟨halshs-03509745⟩

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