Every bottle of Lasseter Family wine represents a remarkable team effort, the work of a group of gifted, committed individuals who share a passion for great wines. This includes three generations of the Lasseter Family, and an extended family of winemaker, cellarmaster, vineyard manager, staff and artists: dreamers and creators, all.
John & Nancy Lasseter
John and Nancy Lasseter first met at a computer graphics conference in San Francisco in 1985. They shared a love of storytelling, and soon discovered they both loved wine as well. In pursuit of this mutual passion, they would escape to Wine Country for romantic getaways, and they chose Sonoma County for their honeymoon.
In the early ‘90’s they moved to Sonoma Valley, where they felt they could put down roots in a small town and raise their five children. Once established in the community, they quickly caught the wine bug; and by 1997 they were bottling up their own Bordeaux blend to give out as Christmas gifts. Soon enough, the Lasseter Family Winery was born.
John and Nancy’s hobbies and passions in life can be seen in every aspect of their winery. John’s love of trains is represented on every bottle of Chemin de Fer; there is even a classic steam locomotive that runs through the estate vineyards. As patrons of the arts, they collect work by several local artists, which led them to commission Dennis Ziemienski to capture their spirit and passion for wine in a series of label paintings. Nancy’s addiction to puzzles then sparked the idea of turning Dennis’ magnificent label images into a collection of wooden jigsaw puzzles as well. When you visit the Wine Room, chances are you’ll find a puzzle in progress.
Much like the grapes used in their hand-crafted blends, John and Nancy’s passions are seamlessly blended in their winemaking, which is, to them, truly a labor of love.
Julia Iantosca has 30 years of winemaking experience in small, premium wineries. She enjoys working with many grape varieties and the challenges that each presents, but she has a particular passion for creating unique red blends from traditional Bordeaux and Rhône varieties. This dovetails perfectly with Nancy and John Lasseter’s dream of producing old world blends inspired by the wines of Bordeaux and the Rhône Valley.
Most of Julia’s career has been spent in Sonoma County wineries, where her love for this region began during an internship at Dry Creek Vineyards. Upon graduating from UC Davis with a BS in Fermentation Science, Julia joined Stevenot Vineyards in Calaveras County as Co-Winemaker with proprietor Bardon Stevenot.
The Sierra Foothill region was evolving, but Sonoma County soon lured her back. Julia was Winemaker for William Wheeler Winery in Healdsburg for eleven years, during which time she worked closely with Vineyard Manager Duff Bevill to enhance wine quality through vineyard practices that focused on winegrowing rather than grape growing. Lambert Bridge Winery then offered Julia new opportunities and the chance to work with consulting winemaker Merry Edwards, a fellow pioneer among women winemakers. Merry inspired Julia’s passion for blending wines, a pursuit that ultimately led her to the Lasseter Family Winery.
Today, Julia lives in Sonoma County’s Bennett Valley on a small Pinot Noir Vineyard with her husband Bob Iantosca, Executive Winemaker for Gloria Ferrer Caves, and their two daughters. Julia and Bob share the proud distinction of having California’s first double-winemaker marriage.
Cellar master Bart Hansen is actively involved in all the cellar and wine process work at the Lasseter Family Winery. His fine palate and tasting experience are valuable assets when it comes time to create Lasseter Family Winery’s distinctive French-style blends.
Bart got his first wine job at Kenwood at the age of 20, working crush – and eventually became Barrel Cellar Master. Bart later moved down the road to the Benziger Winery where his efforts earned him the title Associate Winemaker. Bart started helping Lasseter Family Winemaker Julia Iantosca in 2007.
ENTERPRISE VINEYARD MANAGEMENT
In 1967 Phil Coturri, along with his father and brother, planted two acres of vines on Sonoma Mountain, above the hamlet of Glen Ellen; and he has devoted himself to Sonoma Valley’s wine grapes ever since. For the past 35 years he has made it his mission to develop and promote biodynamic and organic winegrowing practices, and is widely considered to be Sonoma County’s finest organic viticulturalist, with over 600 acres of vines certified with the CCOF under his supervision.
Phil established Enterprise Vineyard Management in 1979; and he and his staff are committed to promoting the biodiversity and natural health of their clients’ vineyards using only organic farming practices including cover crops, advanced irrigation techniques, pest and invasive plant control, and optimum habitat maintenance. Of the Lasseters’ Justi Creek Vineyard, Phil says, “It’s an honor and a responsibility to get to help restore this historic property to its former glory. To see it come back to life under the Lasseters’ guidance and vision is exciting, and at the same time a little daunting. I’m looking forward to the wines that we’ll be able to grow there for the next 50 years.”
Glen Ellen resident Dennis Ziemienski is an award-winning graduate cum laude of the Bay Area’s prestigious California College of Arts and Crafts. He has been internationally known as an illustrator and designer for 30 years, creating strong and richly colored images that borrow much of their inspiration from early 20th century paintings and posters. His travels in Europe have given Dennis an affinity for the architecture, lifestyle and light of the Mediterranean, and his time in Glen Ellen affords him a deep appreciation for Sonoma Valley’s timeless beauty.
Nancy and John Lasseter were already fans of Dennis’ work when they established the winery, having purchased several of his works at local art events. When the time came time to update the Lasseter Family Winery label, they reached out to Dennis, commissioning him to paint five images – one for each of their wines. The result was a series of striking, evocative paintings, in which Dennis was able to tell the story of each wine and to capture the essence of the Lasseter Family’s winemaking philosophy. The Lasseters are proud to feature Dennis’ work on every bottle.
An award winning designer, Lisa Hobro has been developing innovative and effective design solutions in the wine industry for the past 20 years. Lisa graduated from the prestigious California College of the Arts in 1990, earning her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Graphic Design and starting her career in San Francisco. Upon moving back to her home town in Sonoma County, she soon began her career in the wine industry, developing brand identities, label designs & marketing collateral for wineries both at the boutique and corporate level.
In 2009, Lasseter Family Winery hired Lisa to design their wine label. Working closely with Nancy, she has helped to develop the winery’s brand identity, from the label design to a multitude of cohesive marketing materials.
Consumer Direct Manager
Stephen joined Lasseter Family Winery in 2013, bringing with him almost 15 years of experience working in the wine & hospitality industry. Though his first career was in accounting, it was while working part-time behind the tasting bar at a small winery in Healdsburg that he found his true calling.
Stephen enjoys creating memorable experiences for winery guests & sharing the story of Lasseter Family Winery. In his words, “I have the best job at the winery – It’s like I get to throw a party every day for new friends!”. In his free time Stephen enjoys entertaining friends, travel, cooking and exploring all that the Sonoma Valley has to offer.
ELISA DEL CARLO
Sales & Marketing Manager
Elisa joined Lasseter Family Winery in February of 2015; she brings over 12 years experience in the wine industry. She was born in San Francisco, raised in the Bay Area Peninsula and spent many summer months since birth in her 3rd generation Healdsburg family home. Elisa was essentially born into the Sonoma County lifestyle, and for many years now she has set her roots permanently in her Healdsburg home where she raised her son Beau. With her experience in the wine industry and numerous years in the high-tech industry it has given her the experience of knowing how to enjoy life as well as living it out in an organized, upbeat and successful fashion. Her inspiring love for her dogs Coco and Cowboy, her family and friends, and of course wine, provides a down to earth and well-balanced lifestyle.
Veronica’s interest in cooking began around 8 years old when a Julia Child cooking show was on instead of her usual cartoons. She never looked back.
Veronica is a Sonoma County native and has been cooking professionally for 11 years. She completed the Santa Rosa Junior College Culinary Arts Program in 2001, and graduated from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco in 2003 with honors in Food and Wine Pairing. Her past professional cooking experience includes John Ash & Co., Elaine Bell Catering, Bay Leaf Restaurant in Napa, Assistant Producer of “Mouthful” with Chef Michele Anna Jordan and Executive Chef of the Inn at Occidental. She enjoys cooking for small, private events through her company, A Gift of Thyme Personal Chef Services.
She has a deep passion for sustainably grown, organic produce and enjoys utilizing the bountiful harvest from both the Estate gardens and her own home garden as well. Her specialties are baking, food preserving and healthy cooking, and she enjoys sous vide cooking as well.
When she is not cooking, she delights in spending her time with her husband, and their two young daughters.
After completing her degree at San Francisco State University in Accounting and Finance, Bernadette has travelled down Highway 12 working at various wineries for the last 25 years until she joined Lasseter Family Winery as the Accounting Manager in 2008. Prior to working for LFW her previous experience has been with Chateau St. Jean Vineyards and Winery and Kenwood Vineyards. Bernadette also had her own accounting business consulting for small boutique wineries and an olive oil company.
During the weekend, Bernadette can often be found travelling the back roads of northern California, at the beach, hosting a party for family and friends, or spending time with her two grown children.