|Emilio Lustau was founded by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo in 1896: the business was originally an almacenista (a “wholesaler” – which means they can’t sell their wines directly, but have to sell them on to “shipping bodegas”) and in fact it remained that way until the seventies. It was in the 1940’s that Don José’s son-in-law, Don Emilio Lustau Ortega, took over the business and moved the bodega to the old quarter of Jerez. It was during the company’s expansion in the 1970s that they became shippers, and created a name for themselves as producers of top-quality sherries.
In 1990 the family run company became part of the Luis Caballero group; this has allowed Lustau the capital needed to expand. This includes the latest acquisition, in 2008, of La Ina and six bodegas that previously belonged to Domecq from Beam Global (the spirits arm of Fortune Brands, and current owner of Harveys Bristol Cream).
The most interesting part of this for me is that they are the only company that produce wines from each of the three Sherry towns: Jerez, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. So I thought it would be fun to compare all three side by side. The wines are all made by the same company and from the Palomino Fino grape. The only difference is that the wines have been aged in different towns.
Lustau Fino La Ina
La Ina is an iconic brand with a very long history, the original solera was founded in 1919 and Lustau have inherited 4,000 butts of Domecq’s old Soleras. For more information on the town, and Sherry in general click here.
I have had a soft spot for La Ina for a few years now. On my first visit to Jerez my girlfriend and I got a late flight, and by the time we had checked into the hotel it was late. We went for a walk into town to grab some food, we found a restaurant on the Plaza de Plateros where, much to the surprise of my girlfriend, we polished off a whole bottle of La Ina with a ton of tapas.