My most treasured bottles of wine are those about which I know the story behind the label.
The Kapcsandy Family Winery is one of those stories, making the wines even more distinct and unique each time the cork is pulled. Arkansas was honored to host Lou Kapcsandy and his wife, Bobbie, recently. It was a delight to not only savor their wines but meet them on their first trip to the state. The story is that of an American dream fueled by hard work, determination and follow-through.
After fleeing Hungary after the 1956 Hungarian Revolution, Lou Kapcsandy came to the United States via Austria and eventually settled in the Seattle area. Kapcsandy’s varied career path - he’s been a professional soccer player, an airman in the U.S. Army and a professional football player and has a degree in chemical engineering - helped foster his love of wine.
It was a trip to Bordeaux in 1998 and a love of wine that redirected the couple’s path from wine lovers to wine makers. Over a lunch hosted by Leoville Las Cases patriarch Michel Delon they delved into a conversation about the many vineyards around the world boasting exceptional terroirs. Lou was convinced an American estate could rival them all. And so this challenge set them on a new destiny and planted the seedling of the Kapcsandy family dream.
Lou and Bobbie partnered with their son, Louis Jr., and, much to the family’s surprise, were able to purchase a 20-acre plot in Napa Valley that was once the former Beringer Estates Lane vineyard. The Beringer vines were destroyed in the California phylloxera devastation of the late 1990s. Making this plot home to the Kapcsandy family vineyards meant a complete replanting with mostly cabernet sauvignon and merlot.
It was by no means an ordinary replanting but a veritable strategic plan for making the land the pinnacle of American terroir. Today it is apparent in the bottles of the Kapcsandy family wines. But just as his story started with opportunity, Lou Kapcsandy Sr. still says the best is yet to come.
2012 Kapcsandy Family Vineyards Rosé, California (about $29 retail)
2009 Kapcsandy Family Vineyards Endre, California (about $60 retail)
This article by Lorri Hambuchen originally appeared in the Arkansas Democrat-Gazette. We're proud to reprint this piece with permission from Lorri, the owner of The Wine Center and a member of London's Institute of Wines and Spirits.
Contact Lorri via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.