Mirassou Vineyards recently celebrated their 150th year anniversary and are the oldest winemaking family in California. In 1854, Pierre Pellier and his wife immigrated to California from France with a suitcase full of grape cuttings. After the couple had lived in Santa Clara County for several years, the couple’s daughter, Henrietta, married Pierre Mirassou.
Even when Prohibition was enacted, Pierre and Henrietta’s son, Peter, continued to grow grapes. He knew that the law would not last forever, and the family’s legacy of grape growing remained unbroken. Mirassou sold their grapes to home winemakers throughout the United States during this time. A clause in the Volstead Act, which was the formal act of Congress that implemented Prohibition, allowed them to do so.
During the 1950s and 1960s, Edmond Mirassou realized that high land values were a threat to Santa Clara County’s vineyards. Seeing the writing on the wall, he wisely began to look for other California wine regions to plant grapes. In 1961, he found what he was looking for in Monterey County, and was the first to plant grapes there.
David and Heather Mirassou are the current owners of this historic winery. They produce Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc.