Winemaker Steven Kent Mirassou has brought forth a jewel of a book, one that will have a unique place in the literature of American wine.
With his decades of winemaking expertise, and with his extraordinary gift for evocative writing, Steven takes us straight into the heart of his calling: how it looks and feels to be in a vineyard heavy with grapes, awaiting the dawn and the throbbing pulse of a harvest about to begin. It's a magical moment, and it's the beginning of a journey deep into the art, the craft, the passion, and the 8,000 years of history that lie inside the finest of wines.
This is not glossy PR copy. This is raw truth, dirty jeans, arms deep in crushed grapes, heart pounding, dust in your nose, spirit in your mouth writing, flowing from a winemaker who sees crafting beautiful wines and combining them with healthy food as a way to serve others, to bring people together in joy and common cause, a noble calling that Steven Mirassou aptly terms "the true north" of our civilization.
And every step of the way, Steven helps us feel his connection to the six generations that the Mirassou family has been growing grapes and crafting wines in California, the last thirty years in the Livermore Valley. It's a region that struggles, image-wise, in the shadow of the Napa Valley but holds fast to its belief in the virtues of its hills and valleys and fertile soils, and to its unshakable faith that crafting beautiful wines and sharing them with others is, at its core, good for the heart and pure tonic for the soul.
There is high drama too. Like all family-owned wineries, Steven's faces a mountain of challenges: rough growing seasons, business mistakes, the loss of cherished vineyards and more. And Steven loses something larger too: his beloved wife, from a terrible illness. But as Steven shows us, with the proper attitude every loss can be a new beginning, an opportunity to live more deeply, and, with luck, to improve the character of the wines you craft and the enduring wisdom you can pass along to the next generation.
In the literature of American wine, there is nothing quite like what Steven Kent Mirassou has brought us. Come feel the spirit, come share the wine.
About the Author
Steven Kent Mirassou was born in California's Salinas Valley, a member of one of the oldest wine-making families in America.Steven grew up in San Jose and Los Gatos and then went East to college. He received his BA in American Literature from George Washington University and his MA in literature from NYU. His first dream was to become a writer, but back in California he was irresistibly drawn into the wine business, the sixth generation of his family to feel the call.He started his wine work in sales but soon found his true place: out in the vineyards, tending vines, growing grapes, and crafting top-quality wines. Before long he was bringing forth some of the most acclaimed wines in the Livermore Valley and he became an industry force. He is a co-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, California, with his fiancée, Nancy Castro, and their three dogs. Lineage is his first book.