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.

I Fucking Love My Work

I’m headed back home to the winery after most of the week in Portland to take care of some family issues. God, how I have missed my morning routine in the cellar, and god how I fucking love my work!

There is nothing routine about getting to the winery every morning at 6:30 am and taking readings of the fermentation bins and pumping over and inoculating newly arrived fermenters though the procedure is the same each time. Each day is one point on a timeline of progress, on a pathway to apotheosis…it is the same as saying that every day I feed my toddler and bathe him is routine, only if you totally discount the growth of that young being, the change he experiences every single day.

This is life in the cellar during harvest. Change is the expected and the constant. Evolution is what we guide as winemakers, and any interruption to this process is cause for my own selfish resentment. I have an amazing team to make sure that things proceed the way they are supposed to; I am blessed to have Beth Refsnider and my son, Aidan, watching over things and making the right decisions in my absence. But each day I am not around my wines is a day I can never get back.

As one who fervently believes in doing what he does passionately and completely this situation is a bitter pill. Life is complicated, circumstances beyond one’s control are ever-present, and one must make amends sometimes for falling off track. Such is one of those times. The 2021 vintage is shaping up to be magnificent, and the wines we will make from this season will be memorable, evocative, and will add richness and joy to peoples’ lives. It will also be incomplete and fractured. But – I am confident – only for me.

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