A special wine laboratory has formally been opened in Szerencs by a representative of the Ministry of Agriculture, the local mayor as well as the chairman of Diagnosticum, the company behind the project. The new lab uses nuclear magnetic resonance (NMR) method to take individual 'fingerprints' of wine samples by screening for dozens of different parameters, including those of decomposition, markers of fermentation, amino acids, phenol derivatives and stabilising agents. Diagnosticum has already started building a national database of samples that, when large enough, will allow the identification of the region of origin, vintage, and grape variety of even non-included wines.
All Tokaj wineries are now invited to submit samples for free screening and inclusion in the national database to help validate their authenticity in the future, which is of particular importance for the high-value Tokaji botrytised wine styles, many of which may well become collector's items that change hands at auctions worldwide. Old-vintage Tokaji wines that are today much more prone to adulteration and counterfeiting than their modern counterparts – and include those held at the Tolcsva Wine Museum – are not yet covered by the project, but may be included later.
The lab project also gives a meaningful function to the building attached to the symbolic gate to the Tokaj region, a major landmark that was built back in 2007 and has been lying more or less unused for most of its existence.