Emilio Lustau | Jerez
What is now Emilio Lustau SA, was founded in 1896 by Don Jose Ruiz-Berdejo y Veyan, one of the original Almacenistas. Don Jose's son-in-law was Emilio Lustau Ortega who changed the company name in 1950.
In the 1980's, Rafael Balao, then manager, had the original idea of bottling the Almacenista Sherries separately so that the fabulous quality of these wines could be appreciated by all instead of being blended away. As well as the excellent standard Solera Reserva range, these unique Almacenista Sherries have put the House of Lustau in the premium position that they hold today.
The Almacenistas are small business operations, small family owned bodegas which in many cases, are run by local professionals such as doctors and lawyers often as a hobby. These families and small businessmen sold the product of their soleras to the Sherry firms, the wines being blended into large volume cuvées. Balao became concerned that the fine properties of these wines, which were produced in miniscule quantities and were generally of very high quality, were becoming lost in the blending process. As a consequence he decided that some should be bottled separately.
In 1990, Luis Caballero SA, a premium Spanish liqueur producer with large holdings of top quality sherry vineyards, bought Emilio Lustau SA and was able to inject the capital needed for the company to develop further. This has culminated in recent years with the purchase and complete refurbishment of a traditional bodega complex in Jerez which now houses the business.
Lustau has been awarded the International Wine Challenge "Fortified Winemaker of the Year" three times, in 2002, 2005 and again in 2009. In 2005, Lustau also won the Len Evans Trophy for the most consistent showing over a number of years. Since 2001 Lustau have entered 150 wines winning a Seal of Approval or better. in 2009 Lustau was judged the Top Spanish Food and Wine Company by "Spain Gourmetour" magazine.