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.
Cabernet Franc often thrives despite the interventions of the winemaker; it reaches its apotheosis, then, when the winemaker is only (at a distance) watchful, bridegroom to the fizz of fermentation; shepherd to the press, to the barrel, to the blend, to that final shape that twists the tongue, molds the
Barbera is like a clue, a cipher left in crabby, penciled writing on parchment grown brown and wrinkled. Like the iconic drifter who saves the town, no one is sure where Barbera came from. Its genetics indicate that it may have been introduced to Italy in the 1600s, but it
I’m an unabashed lover of French wine (and Italian, Californian, etc.), and there are certain grapes we grow in California that just don’t ring my bells like the French versions do. Syrah is one of those grapes. Making up the red wines of the northern Rhône almost exclusively and extremely
There are many factors that conspire to make California almost uniquely susceptible to fire. In the last several years, fires in Sonoma and Napa counties have severely affected the quality of the fruit coming off vineyards. The Livermore Valley has been lucky in that it isn’t surrounded by a lot
The senses are the winemaker’s greatest tools. The ability to smell and taste and remember what you’ve experienced from barrel to barrel are crucial in putting together consistent wines. Outside influences, like Brettanomyces, a spoilage yeast that lives everywhere in the winery, can get in the way of the true expression of
Lineage is our most complicated blend; it can comprise five different grapes (the classic Bordeaux varieties) and Cabernet Sauvignon from more than 10 blocks on six vineyards. Aidan, Beth, and I start each year with nearly 150 barrels of wine, and from these, we carve aspirants away until we are