Anna Ivanovna

In 1729, Habsburg Emperor Joseph I granted a significant tariff reduction to Russia. This resulted in an increasing interest in the Tokaji wines also within Vienna´s noble society. In this time, Tokaji became an ultimate status symbol in Russia.

Tsarina Anna Ivanovna

But Tokaji wine deliveries to Russia still stalled, because Polish authorities had been interfering with the shipments and confiscating substantial amounts as a tariff. That´s why, in 1733, Tsarina Anna Ivanovna, who ruled from 1730 to 1740, started to run a small colony in Tokaj. They called it the Hungarian Wine Purveyors’ Commission, and its only task was to ensure a steady supply of the excellent wine, while continuing to take advantage of the Austrian tariff reductions. Lieutenant-Colonel Fjodor Vishnyevskij has been assigned to administrate the commission. Until 1798, the Commission, locally known as "Russian colony", had a staff of 35 up to 40 persons.

Tsarina Anna Ivanovna (1693-1740), Founder of the Imperial Wine Purveyors' Commission

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„I have sent, last night, a box of Marischino Veritabile of Zara, which I got Jemmy Anderson to buy for me, and twelve bottles of Tokay. I have kept none for myself - being better pleased that you should have it.”
Admiral Nelson in a letter to Lady Emma Hamilton
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Admiral Horatio Lord Nelson

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