Almacenistas (Stockholder) are independent professionals or entrepreneurs who have been historically producing and ageing Sherry. The love and care of Almacenista for their activity is shown in their limited Soleras of the finest and rarest Sherries. These Soleras are still operated by the original artisanal methods. Lustau was founded in 1896 as an Almacenista itself and has wanted to pay a tribute to this anonymous role in the Sherry trade by creating this very special range of Sherries.
Bodegas Lustau was founded in 1896 by Mr José Ruiz-Berdejo. It was a modest beginning: José, a court clerk, cultivated the vine son his land, known as Nuestra Señora de la Esperanza. In the house at the vineyard, he produced the wines he later sold to the major exporting wineries. He was an “Almacenista”.
His son-in-law Emilio Lustau Ortega moved the winery to the old neighbourhood of Santiago, in the historic quarter of Jerez de la Frontera. There, in buildings that formed part of the historic Moorish walls of the city, he slowly began to expand the business, still as an “Almacenista”. In 1950, the company began exporting its own sherry wines.
In the 1970s, the company continued its expansion. From the beginning of the 1980s, under the management of Rafael Balao, it became one of the most innovative companies in Jerez. Rafael Balao sensed that Lustau had to be at the forefront of quality. His ideas of combining tradition and innovation paved the way for identifying Lustau with quality and prestige.
In 1988 Lustau took another innovative step by introducing a new bottle design for its wines. The elegant, dark bottle with sloping shoulders is exclusive to the company, distinguishing Lustau from the other Jerez wineries.
In 1990, Emilio Lustau S.A. was acquired by the renowned company, Luis Caballero, producer of liquors and spirits. This gave Lustau important financial support and the opportunity to develop and expand further. The Montegilillo and Las Cruces vineyards, both located in the área known as Jerez Superior, were incorporated into the Lustau assets
In June 2000, Lustau acquired six 19th c. winemaking buildings in the heart of Jerez, covering a total area of 20,000 m2. These buildings were restored and today they are the company’s primary winemaking facilities.
Lustau’s philosophy has remained the same since its inception in 1896: the pursuit of the highest quality in order to offer the market the widest and finest range of sherry. In recent years, Lustau has been honoured and recognised with several awards; it was named “Best Spanish Producer” in 2011 at the International Wine & Spirit Competition in London. In 2012, it was the winningest winery in Spain and 7th worldwide. Lustau oenologist, Manuel Lozano, has been named Best Fortified Winemaker of the Year seven years in a row by the International Wine Challenge of London.