|ABOUT
ABOUT 2018-04-26T18:45:58+00:00

Meet Us

About

Sándor Vineyards is owned and operated by John and Karen Kovacs.

In 2008, the Kovacs fell in love with the rural land in Pearce, Arizona. Lush foliage and the beautiful Chiricahua Mountains surround the property with Turkey Creek running adjacent to the vineyard. After three years of hard work to prepare the land, the Kovacs planted their first vines.

A mere four years later, in September of 2016, John and Karen announced the release of their first vintages – Sándor’s 2015 Rosé of Grenache. In early 2017 they released their 2015 Petite Sirah.

John and Karen Kovacs, Sandor Vineyard owners
Sandor Vineyards history

Sándor Rajki

Our History

Sándor Vineyard is named in honor of Sándor Rajki. John’s uncle. Sándor was born in 1935 in Hungarian territory. He lived in the small rural town of Celldömölk in the western part of the country with his parents and six siblings.

At the age 21, Sándor enlisted as a Hungarian Freedom Fighter during the 1956 Hungarian Revolution against the Russian Communist invasion. When the revolt dismantled, Sándor fled on foot to Austria and then immigrated to America where his sister Elizabeth (John’s mother) sponsored him. Sándor then built his new life and family as a U.S. citizen.

In 1996, Sándor returned to his native Hungary. Although it was his dream to build a vineyard and work the land like a true Hungarian, he lacked knowledge of how to farm. What he lacked in experience, he made up for with sheer motivation and drive, learning everything he could from his sister and a neighbor.

Sándor made his dreams come true and created Rajki Vineyard, located outside the town of Celldömölk in Western Hungary. He worked the vineyard for 10 years, selling it in 2006 to move back to the United States where he now resides.

It is with determination and passion that John and Karen carry on Sandor’s tradition of dedication to fulfilling their dreams. They pay homage to the man that inspired them to blend ‘Old World values’ with ‘New World vision.’

Others Who Help

Meet the Team

Daryl Long
Daryl LongVineyard Manager
Daryl takes care of the day to day operations of the vineyard.
Reid Calvin “Spike” Livingston
Reid Calvin “Spike” LivingstonGeneral Manager/Projects Manager
Spike assists with the day to day operations of the vineyard
Eric Drabeck
Eric DrabeckAssistant Vineyard Manager
Eric assists with the day to day operations of the vineyard
Anji Verlaque
Anji VerlaqueMarketing Manager
As Sándor’s Marketing Manger, Anji helps Sándor develop, implement and execut strategic marketing plans in order to attract potential customers and retain existing ones.
Gary Wooton
Gary WootonConsultant/Wine Maker
As Sándor’s wine making consultant, Gary helps Sándor develop new wines and strategies to expand our options.
Martin (Marty) Loy
Martin (Marty) LoyInformations Systems Development
Marty helps Sándor keep their IT systems up and running smoothly.
Sandor Vineyard Uncle Sandor

Egészségedre!

(egész‧sé‧ged‧re)

Expressing Good Wishes, in Particular Good Wishes Before Drinking.