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.

Covid & Cabernet Franc

Steven Kent Mirassou & John Skupny

I am just settling into my office after having gotten my second covid shot earlier today. From a business standpoint, vaccination is all about opening the doors again and opening the doors wide so that we can continue to provide great experiences and great wine for people. That’s the ostensible reason for vaccination.

For me, though, vaccination is all about being able to get close to people again. Vaccination is about being able to congregate with your tribe around the evening fire with your knees touching

and with the rims of your glasses clinking and talking with your people about the intimate things of life.

Most of my communication centers around wine, as one would expect. Wine is a medium of emotion and a magical substance that builds bridges and knocks down walls. This is one of its greater capacities. That it is a medium for bottomless exploration and thought and fellowship and deliciousness is another of its most spectacular properties.

A few days ago, I had the wonderful opportunity to share our L’Autre Côte wines and spend time virtually with fellow Cabernet franc producers, John Skupny of Lang & Reed winery in Napa and Matthieu Baudry of Domaine Bernard Baudry in Chinon. Each of us is obsessed with the variety, and each of us is attempting to make a business from it. We had a chance to spend an hour with each other and with 100 people from around the world talking about the esthetic depth of Cabernet Franc as a grape and a wine.

At its best that roundtable discussion reached a depth that approximates that tribal fire in terms of intimacy and authenticity. These are the kinds of conversations that I want to continue to have over and about wine; these are the only conversations that I want to end up having ultimately. There is so much to gain from them in terms of personal understanding and the acquisition of knowledge and, most importantly, the sharing and connecting.

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