István Ipacs Szabó graduated from the Szent István University as an Agricultural Engineer specialized in Economy, Viticulture and Oenology. During his college years in Gyöngyös, he was not only working in Hungary but gained practical experience in Slovenian, Italian and German wineries and research institutions. After the state examination he did his internship in California and became winemaker for Vylyan in 1999. He started his own winery in Villány in 2009 where he is doing his best to grow grapes in Kövesföld parcel on Tenkes hill.
It was love at first sight. My heart skipped a beat when I saw the little cellar and the rows of vines. I could also see as far as the Papuk Mountain in Croatia, which is about 50 kilometres from here but they are visible in nice weather. I feel I am somehow between heaven and earth here.
It is a small winery and intends to remain one; there are no plans to exceed the 2-hectare size. First, only one variety, Cabernet Franc was planted because István thinks this is the one having a good time in Villány. He would like to dig deep and learn about its thousand faces. Meanwhile, however, he has discovered a new love, Blaufränkisch which is an exciting variety and produces beautiful wines in Villány.
I think these two varieties are enough for me to make all my dreams come true. Here one understands that grape and wine can indeed lift our spirit, and even though we live in this world, we always strive to soar in the sky. In the circle of life we always return to the place where we started. This is also what my labels suggest. Winemaking is art for me, and no matter how tired I am every day, I do enjoy every moment spent here. It is great to see how everything is improving and growing day by day as the result of my work. It gives me immense happiness and it is a form of relaxation at the same time.
Measurements have shown that the cooling effect of winds may not be experienced around the estate. Consequently, winter is the mildest in this part of Hungary, and even Mediterranean plants such as figs, pomegranate, even olive and banana trees survive the cold months, though the fruit if the latter does not have enough time to ripen.
Grapes start to grow and can be harvested earlier in this climatically protected estate, and this is particularly favourable for the late-ripening variety of Cabernet.
Ipacs Szabó, Fehér franc 2015 (Blanc de Franc) I 84-86 points
Restrained on the nose with aromas of green apple and pear. Rich and full bodied, with attractive acidity, a lot of Mediterranean citrus fruit and green apple kernel. Long finish and minerality. Still very young but certainly has great potential.
Ipacs Szabó, Inni Jó 2014 I 86-88 points
An elegant, jucy wine with sweet spice, raspberry, cherry, strawberry, liquorice and some floral notes. Lovely crisp acidity and smooth tannins. Very drinkable.
Ipacs Szabó, Nászút helyett 2011 I 85-87 points
Sour cherry, raspberry, sweet spice, blackberry, plum and a touch of almond nuttiness on the nose. Ripe smooth tannins and fresh acidity with flavours of violet, raspberry, plum, blueberry, pepper and cinnamon. Meaty with some earthiness and a touch of mint.