The Kovacs Story: Truth be told, this didn’t start out as a dream or a life long passion. My brother Jacob and I grew up with aspirations to be working in anything but the family business. At the time of our childhood, the family business was dental technician work. As respectable as it was, we didn’t see ourselves sitting indoors working under a microscope for 8 to 12 hours a day. So to say I knew all along we would be in the wine industry would be fiction.
It all started in 1998 when my father Jozsef, decided to turn our garage into a wine making facility. He purchased a small amount of Cabernet grapes from his wine making friends and borrowed all the necessary materials. He knew exactly what to do from there. Wine making in the Kovacs family can be traced back seven generations, and Jozsef’s grandfather tutored him throughout his Hungarian childhood. So back to 1998, the veteran of the dental business for over 30 years is now having more fun making one barrel of wine in the drive-way than he is working on a full mouth reconstruction. Of course my brother and I were contracted to help in this growing obsession. By the fall of 2003 wine making had captured all of Jozsef’s attention so the only logical move was to sell his house of 21 years and start a winery. Thus Szalay Winery was born. The name comes as a tribute to the wine makers in the Kovacs family on our grandmother’s side.
               Fast-forward to November of 2006, Szalay wine was receiving great reviews and I was telling anyone who would listen. This sparked an idea. Why not start a second label that bares a much easier name to pronounce? This was not the only contributing factor, but to jump into the wine business at some point was a plan that Jacob and I thought was inevitable. So almost a year later Kovacs Brothers, the second label of Szalay Winery, is a realization.
               Jesse Kovacs

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