Little is known of the history of this wine and grapevine. Certain sources indicate that the grapevine was introduced from France, others that it originated in Algiers... What is known for certain is that in the 19th century, Count Rohonczy planted this wondrous grapevine on many locations in Europe but that it survived only on Pearl Island near Novi Bečej. This grapevine is unique in the entire world i.e. indigenous.

The soil on Pearl Island that was owned by Rohonczy family was the best and most fertile. There was opulent sunshine here, being mirrored off the living and dead Tisa river, which lengthened its benefaction.

The greatest achievement of count Rohonczy is the famous grape variety Muskat Krokan – the pearl of Pearl Island. Krokan has a yellowish hue and the enjoyment given by its unique taste and aroma is truly magnificient. The wine contains 10 to 12 per cent alcohol and is considered a drink of the affluent, it is expensive and the grapes are difficult to keep, especially during harvest. The variety is susceptible to disease. Count Rohonczy used to send this rare and exquisite wine Muskat Krokan as a gift to his friends at various royal courts, to famous politicians and men of wealth, but the quantities involved were always small, just enough to keep everyone content. He usually sent only one package of this divine liquid, a sign of attention and respect but also of prestige, given that the value of a single bottle was, in today’s terms, around 1000 Euros.

The story how this grapevine and wine were created is also interesting:

“It was a warm night in the lowlands, vast acreage of plantations and vineyards, stretching as far as the eyes could see, were peacefully dormant. Only the sound of the crickets and a mild wind swirling its way through the grapevine and the freshly cut wheat hay could be heard. In this vastness, at the border of forests and plantations, a single streak of light shone from a house. There they were, Count Rohonczy and Count Miklos, playing poker among the wine barrels. The two bonvivants were trying to outwit one another. They were competing since childhood: Who will marry better and get a richer dowry, who will grow better plantations and orchards, have better horses and carts… Up to that point, Count Rohonczy was the more successful of the two, winning prizes for his fruit in Paris, fruit that was consumed by the highest nobles of Europe, even emperors themselves.

Count Miklos was in the lead that night, and casually mentioned that he had perfected a variety of top-grade merlot grape and that it will outrank in quality Count Rohonczy’s wine and grape. Count Rohonczy replied to that with a promise of a gift of two black horses, if he fails to plant a better quality grapevine by next year. Since then, many restless days and nights in Budapest, Vienna and Paris had passed… On one plot of the estate, known as Pearl Island, grew a new variety of grapevine…“

The next fall, a precious liquid was drained into the barrels, a unique wine in the whole of Europe, named Krokan.
Count Rohonczy kept his black horses, and we were left with a legacy of wine... Count Rohonczy paid special attention to the wine barrels and the press, even a narrow-track train line was built on which the wine was transported to the station in Bečej. The count loved money, women, gambling and hunting – a playboy of his own time. According to the legend, on a single night he lost and regained his entire estate and his wife Isabella!

A mythic aura contributed to the brand of Krokan, and so, even after the post-war nationalization, Krokan was served at the table of Josip Broz Tito and his most esteemed guests.

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