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La Rochelle Winery
Livermore Valley Winery and Tasting Room
Napa Valley & Sonoma Wine Tasting Tours
The La Rochelle and Steven Kent Wineries are owned by Steven Kent Mirassou. Both tasting rooms, though completely unique, are on the same property.
Steven’s great, great, great grandfather, Pierre Pellier, emigrated from France in 1852 and planted Old World cuttings in the Santa Clara Valley, where he created world-class wines. In 2003 the Mirassou family sold its brand and inventory to Gallo. Some family members, however, have continued creating wines.
At La Rochelle Winery visitors sit at tables with white tablecloths, sipping wines, nibbling select cheeses. Friendly pourers offer up menus and pencils to help you remember preferences.
After the sale of the family’s Mirassou brand to Gallo, Steven Kent Mirassou’s cousins created La Rochelle wines of Monterey County. In 2005, Steven purchased La Rochelle from his cousins and moved the brand to Livermore.
Producing 95 percent Pinot Noir, La Rochelle sources fruit from eighteen growers in eleven appellations (Willamette and Umpqua Valleys of Oregon, Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Santa Cruz Mountains, Chalone, Santa Lucia Highlands, Monterey, Arroyo Seco, and Carneros). Steven says, “We source from growers who are as passionate about growing world-class fruit as we are about making world-class wine.”
Winemaker Tom Stutz, formerly the winemaker at Mirassou since the early 1980s, believes in highlighting the complexity of Pinot Noir and allowing as many of the grape’s variables as possible to shine through. They use French oak for aging. Steven says the aromatics of French oak and the structuring effects of French barrels work better with a majority of the Pinot Noir they harvest.
La Rochelle was named after the French village Steven Kent Mirassou’s great, great, great grandfather came from.
The image to the right links to a video interview with Steven Kent Mirassou where he discusses his family history, his two wineries and the history of grapes and wine in Livermore Valley and Northern California with Thomas Wilmer.
Amenities: Wine club, private pairings