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.

The Morning Tool Chest

Morning tool chest

First thing, every morning (well, after a cup of coffee!) I take my collection of stuff to the fermenting bins to determine how far along the road to dryness each fermenter is. I draw some wine from under the cap of skins with the siphon (turkey-baster thingy), strain it through the strainer into a beaker. I then use the DMA (a density meter) that records the brix level and temperature of the wine. If we are close to dryness, I’ll bring a sample to the lab to get residual sugar levels that will tell me if that bin is, in fact, dry. This morning one of two Sangiovese bins was.

Of course, I am tasting the samples every day to experience how each wine tastes and feels as flavors and texture jump around a lot at this point in the process. With more than one bin of the same wine, I’ll make ad hoc blends to see how the bins work together, and how they may taste when all fermenters are dry.

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