The first country to understand that grapes covered with the mold Botrytis cinerea could lead to marvelous wines was Germany.

Answer: False.

While there are four countries—Germany, France, Austria, and Hungary—that are famous for their botrytized wines, there is just one nation that first realized the mold’s true wine-making potential: Hungary. As of the early 17th century, the Tokaji Aszú wines of Hungary’s Tokaj-Hegyalja region were well-established luxuries. And, although it is not clear if Austria adopted the technique from Hungary, the part of Austria famous for botrytized wines—Burgenland—borders Hungary, and indeed was once part of the vast Austro-Hungarian Empire. Meanwhile, Germany made their first botrytized wine in 1775, Bordeaux in the mid-1800s.

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