It all started in the 17th century with Máté Szepsy Laczkó. He was a priest, vine grower and winemaker. Educated abroad, he started to work for the lord of Tokaj, called György Rákóczi the First. Incidently, the Rákoczi family was important for the King and the Tokaj wine was important to the financing of war.
György Rákóczi’s wife, Zsuzsanna Lórántffy, controlled the wine business and asked Máté Szepsy Laczkó to define the Aszú wine making rules. That was in 1631. Aszú wine making started a century earlier but there were no rules yet. Because of his work, Szepsy István Jr great-great-great-….-great grandfather got a Nobility title.
Back then, Tokaj was the wine of the Queens, Kings, and Tsars.
The wine making perpetuated in the family until the Soviet Union occupation of Hungary post WWII. Private enterprises were banned, and all work was directed to the cooperatives. They were producing mass and cheap wines.
At the fall of Berlin Wall and the Communist Block in 1989, Istvan Szepsy Sr reestablished the Szepsy wine brand. He wanted to rediscover the excellence and taste of the Szepsy Tokaj from the Pre-Soviet era and yesteryears.
As he retired 5 years ago, Istvan Szepsy Sr focuses solely on the grape production. Graduating as a wine maker in 2004, István Szepsy Jr, the 18th generation in the family, is now managing the winery with his sister Gabriella and her husband, perpetuating the legacy.