Words & Wine

Lineage: Life and Love and Six Generations in California Wine
by Steven Kent Mirassou
Hardcover – June 2021

Steven Kent Mirassou received his BA in American Literature from the George Washington University and his MA in Literature from NYU. He was born in the Salinas Valley and grew up in San Jose and Los Gatos before going east to college. Lineage: Life and Love and Six Generations in California Wine is his first book.

Mirassou started his wine career in sales but found his true passion after moving into the production side of the business in 1996. Steven has made the highest rated wines from the Livermore Valley, is a founder of the Mount Diablo Highlands Wine Quality Alliance, and the President of the Livermore Valley Wine Growers Association.

Steven has four adult children, April Coffey, Aidan Mirassou, Katherine Mirassou, and Sara Mirassou. He lives in Pleasanton, CA with his fiancée, Nancy Castro, and their three dogs.

A Great Walk…

hr row
Looking south down a row of Home Ranch Cabernet

We changed farming companies before the 2018 harvest, and one consequence of this move was the need for me to do my own fruit sampling.

berries
Bunches of samples grapes

Sampling is the process of taking berries or bunches of grapes randomly from a block of fruit in order to gauge the ripeness of those grapes. We will do this sampling as we get relatively close to harvest, say, a couple of weeks out. The first result serves as a baseline; all subsequent measures of brix, pH, and TA (for our purpose, total acidity) generally advance toward what ripeness would mean from a numbers standpoint.

juice samples
Juice from crushed grapes headed to the Lab

For me, though, these numbers are only confirmatory. I’ll only pick fruit if the flavors and textures of the grape match my conception of ready-to-go.

Beyond the specific purpose of determining how far out harvest is, walking our

vineyards frequently keeps me in touch with potential issues in terms of health of the vines and keeps me close to the great beauty of a well-planted and well-maintained vineyard.

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