The Kapcsándy Team

Father & Son

Lou Kapcsándy
Owner

Born and raised in Budapest, Hungary, Lou played premier league soccer and was a member of the Hungarian National Soccer team. But in November 1956 he was forced to leave his entire family and barely escaped to Austria after the Soviet Army brutally crushed the 1956 Hungarian revolution. With no money and not a word of English, he arrived at a New Jersey refugee camp and spent 14 weeks behind barbed wire before a kind family from the Bronx sponsored him. Lou worked nights in a bakery as he attended the Polytechnic Institute of Brooklyn to get his Hungarian chemical engineering degree converted. 

Brooklyn Poly helped him to get his first job with Union Carbide Chemicals in New York City. But in 1959 he was promptly drafted into the U.S. Army – barely speaking English and without American citizenship – and served 2½ years in the 82nd Airborne Division at Fort Bragg, North Carolina.

Once released from the Army, Lou tried out for professional football with the AFL San Diego Chargers before starting his business career. He spent the next 15 years in the petroleum and pharmaceuticals process-engineering and design fields. For the next 18 years, he headed Seattle-based Baugh Enterprises, Inc., one of the country’s largest commercial-industrial general contractors. At the same time, Lou co-founded and ran Grand Cru Imports LLC, which imported and distributed wines from Bordeaux (France), Tokaj (Hungary), and Ribera del Duero (Spain).

Lou retired from business in 2003, and with his wife, Bobbie, relocated to their vineyard and winery property in Yountville. Lou actively partners with his son, Louis Jr., on strategic planning and general management of the vineyard and winery. Both also serve on the blending panel with consulting winemaker Tony Arcudi. Lou approves every single final blend – especially Roberta's Reserve, which is named for his adoring wife, Bobbie.

Louis Kapcsándy, Jr.
Owner

Louis was born in Marin County, California, and raised in Seattle, Washington. In 1994, he graduated from the University of Washington with a degree in economics. He was a member of the UW varsity football team from 1989-1991. He then moved to Los Angeles, where he was employed as a sound engineer for a prominent feature-film post-production company.

Louis began his wine career in 1999 when he co-founded Grand Cru Imports LLC with his father, specializing in Bordeaux Cru Classé and Petits Chateaux wines. The following year, he moved to Bordeaux to work with the highly respected negociant firm Maison Joanne to learn the intricacies of the Place de Bordeaux (a network of chateau owners, agents, and merchants). 

While at Maison Joanne, Louis regularly visited more than 100 chateaux throughout the region to learn fermentation methods. Over that summer and through the resulting harvest, he apprenticed exclusively for Jean Luc & Murielle Thunevin of Ch. Valandraud (St. Emilion). During this time, he learned both classic and cutting-edge winemaking techniques from Alain Vauthier (Ch. Ausone) and Peter Sisseck (Pingus, Ribera del Duero).

From 1999 to 2009, Louis ran national sales and acquisitions for Grand Cru Imports LLC. Today, he’s largely in charge of the day-to-day operations for both Kapcsándy Family Wines and Grand Cru Imports LLC.

Winemaking Team

Tony Arcudi
Consulting Winemaker

After 20 years working in computer-related fields – first as a missile navigation engineer aboard Navy submarines and later as a product manager for IBM – Tony Arcudi left the security of a well-established career and followed his passion for wine.

He graduated from UC Davis’s renowned oenological program and trained in France at Rhône-based Maison M. Chapoutier. Returning to the Napa Valley, he served as assistant winemaker at Nickel & Nickel in Oakville, known for its single-vineyard wines from Napa and Sonoma appellations.

In 2009, Tony met renowned winemaker Heidi Peterson Barrett. An instant connection was formed, and they’ve been making wine together ever since. From his experience both in France and in the Napa Valley, Arcudi has refined his vision: to seek out select sites from which to make vineyard-designated Cabernets that expressed the particular personality of the site.

Tony’s addition to the winemaking team is serendipitous. His life story has uncanny parallels to those of the Kapcsándys – from Lou’s engineering background and Louis’s training in France to their mutual desire to cultivate vineyard-designated wines that reveal the unique characteristics of the State Lane Vineyard.

David Sotelo
Cellar Master

David is an integral part of our winemaking team. His career in the wine industry began at Napa Wine Company, where he worked for 11 years before joining the Kapcsándy Family Winery team. He fondly recalls his first harvest with us in 2005 and the excitement of earning our first 100-point score from Robert Parker, Jr. for the 2007 Cabernet Sauvignon-Grand Vin.