The origin of our name is inspired by the legend of Lusus, who brought vines and winemaking to the Iberian peninsula. Lusus, a companion of Bacchus the Roman god of wine, voyaged to the mountains, valleys and coasts of Portugal and began many of the now centuries-old enological traditions that carry a rich history in the region. The different soils and climates in each region created unique connections between the people and the vines. My family made wine for generations on mainland Portugal and the island of Madeira. Bringing their knowledge, embedded in tradition, to a new land in California, renewed the cycle Lusus created.
Growing up making wine on California’s delta, I learned how things were done in the old country, learning along the way the process and craft of winemaking. After touring the vineyards, talking to the farmers, and picking the grapes, my parents and uncles would get together to make plans for the harvest, deciding what to do and when to do it. Each year the fruit was brought back to our crusher and press, where elbow grease and Portuguese ingenuity ruled. My father was the gatekeeper of traditions, watching the time of year and lunar position to schedule the best times for one winemaking task or another. Now, in my own wine, I use what I learned working for wineries up and down California’s coast to combine the wisdom in each tradition’s core connected with each site to create wines that are truly Californian and show a sense of place and time for each of their unique provenances. The deep connection between where a vine is grown and the wine it produces is at the center of my craft.
The core of my mission is just what Lusus started: find what the land is saying and build traditions around that, listening the entire time to make sure what is said in the land is upheld in the cellar.