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

Steven Kent Mirassou Headshot

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.

Ephemerality

The mornings are cold now. And the bins don’t throw off heat anymore either.

Fermentation is practically done; now it’s an exercise in revealing structure, an exercise in extracting all of the purity and all of the grace and all of the goodness that these grapes we’ve picked this year have to give over.

The last day of harvest can never be accurately calendared. Every day we taste through fermenting bins to determine whether the specific box and any of its mates are ready to press off, are ready to move on to the next phase in becoming. There is no end date certain; it’s all about feel and palate and hope and imagination.

In many ways uncertainty is at the heart of great winemaking and great wine. Wine is evolving constantly, sometimes flickering to life – like the Mayfly – only for a moment, and sometimes taking many decades just to awake from its slumber. Wine never remains static. As a winemaker, working to make the best wines in the world, my work is mostly trying to capture that precise moment (as far as blending goes) when this wine has the greatest capacity to change in the most beneficent and delicious way possible. It is never easy, but I’ve learned to live with and celebrate, even, wine’s ephemerality, its relationship to Time that is outside of my true understanding. Once you really know that this thing that you are making and are in love with will not last forever but will die someday, you respect its beauty and mystery that much more.

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