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.

Lineage 17: The Beginning

At the Blending Table

Over the course of the next 12 months, we’ll be whittling a redwood down to a finely-sharpened toothpick as Aidan Mirassou, my assistant winemaker, and I move through 85 barrels of 2017 Bordeaux varieties in 12 separate barrel groups to get to the perfect few that will become Lineage 2017.

There are many ways of tackling the complexity inherent in this task, but I want to be sure that in getting to our answer we don’t miss out on the joy and beauty of this most essential thing we do: ultimately, is this wine delicious and does it bring me joy?

As Aidan and I taste through the barrel groups we will be taking a lot of notes, talking a lot about our individual preferences and making a lot of mock blends. One of things that makes blending this way so interesting is that neither one of us tastes the same thing as the other. What may seem thin and lacking in varietal character to Aidan may be overly wooded and too viscous for me. So, in the journey to craft a wine of beauty and tension and complexity, Aidan and I must “battle” our own individual (and sometimes – idiosyncratic) biases to get to a point of agreement, perhaps…but – more importantly – to arrive at a point that most honestly serves the true nature of this particular wine.

When Lineage 2017 is released my profoundest hope is that the wine is not only spectacularly delicious but that it serves as a symbol for the way I want to make wine and live life. Hopefully, it prods and maybe even provokes a little. This wine should transform, if only to a tiny degree. And if we succeed, we will all see wine and winemaking a little bit differently… perhaps, even feel it a little more deeply.

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