Lasseter Family Winery

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Coordinates: 38°22′59″N 122°31′30″W / 38.383186°N 122.524988°W / 38.383186; -122.524988

Lasseter Family Winery is a winery located in Glen Ellen, Sonoma County, California. The winery was founded in 2000 by Pixar film director John Lasseter and his wife, Nancy Lasseter. The winery, once inhabited by the Grand Cru Winery, produces approximately 1,200 cases of French red wine blends annually, with the capacity to produce up to 6,000.[1] The winery grows Bordeaux and Rhône varietals on 27 acres.[2] One of the Lasseters' winemaking mentors was Jess Jackson, of Kendall-Jackson.


In 2000, after several years of amateur wine-making, the Lasseters bought 50 bare acres in Glen Ellen and planted syrah, grenache and mourvedre Rhône varieties. They bought an adjoining 35-acre property in 2002 with merlot and cabernet sauvignon grapes, then added malbec and cabernet franc to create the French red wine blends they prefer.

In 2005, the Lasseters brought aboard winemaker Julia Iantosca. Iantosca had spent time as the winemaker at Stevenot Vineyards in Murphys, William Wheeler Winery and Lambert Bridge Winery, both in Healdsburg, and worked closely with consulting winemaker Merry Edwards, who helped inspire Iantosca's love of blended wines.[3]

In 2011, they introduced their winery’s new package. The packaging highlights original proprietary names for their Enjoué Rosé, Chemin de Fer, Amoureux and Paysage with labels designed by internationally acclaimed, long-time Sonoma Valley artist Dennis Ziemienski.

Later that same year, they unveiled their eco-friendly, state-of-the-art winery and began accepting visitors by appointment only.[4]

Justi Creek Railway[edit]

Justi Creek Railway
Justi Creek

The Justi Creek Railway is a private, 3 ft (914 mm) narrow gauge railroad that runs through the winery's Syrah vineyard.[5][6] A trademark for the railroad's name was filed by the Lasseter family through a trust in 2010, but was abandoned in 2013.[7] Despite the trademark abandonment, the railroad has continued to expand after 2013, per satellite imagery. An image of the railroad is featured on the label for the winery's Chemin de Fer wine.

An H.K. Porter steam locomotive built in 1901, the Marie E., and pulls a small gondola and caboose. The Marie E. and its consist were once owned by Ollie Johnston, one of Walt Disney's Nine Old Men,[8] and originally ran on Johnston's private Deer Lake Park & Julian Railroad until they were sold in 1993.[9] The train was sold to John Lasseter around 2002.[10][11] On May 10, 2005, the Marie E. locomotive and its caboose became the first privately owned rolling stock allowed to run on the Disneyland Railroad.[5] This occurred during a private ceremony to honor Ollie Johnston, and allowed him to reunite with and drive his former locomotive.[5] In May 2007 and again in June 2010, the locomotive (driven by John Lasseter) visited the Pacific Coast Railroad in Santa Margarita, California where it operated alongside the original Disneyland Railroad Retlaw 1 coaches.[12] On July 28, 2017, Lasseter again drove the Marie E. locomotive on the Disneyland Railroad, this time pulling the locomotive Chloe and a train car from the Orange Empire Railway Museum in Perris, California.[13]

Chloe and the train car were previously owned by Ward Kimball, another one of the Nine Old Men,[8] and run on the Grizzly Flats Railroad located in his backyard.[13] They were sold to John Lasseter in 2007, along with a depot building and water tower.[5][14] The depot building was originally built as a set piece for the 1949 Disney film So Dear to My Heart.[15] Both the depot and water tower were destroyed by the October 2017 Northern California wildfires.[16]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ Lavin, Kate (2011-10-17), Lasseter Family Premieres First Wines: Noted film family rolls out red blends and rosé wines from Sonoma wine estate, Wines & Vines
  2. ^ "Lasseter Family Winery" (homepage). Our wines are crafted in an Old World-style, using Bordeaux and Rhône varietals to create unique blends. Estate-grown and bottled, our blends incorporate Malbec, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Grenache, Mourvèdre, and grapes grown on our 27 acre vineyard property in Sonoma Valley, CA.
  3. ^ Boone, Virginie (September 26, 2011). "Lasseter winery coming into its own". Press Democrat.
  4. ^ "Come Visit Us: Winery Now Open by Appointment". Lasseter Family Winery. November 11, 2011.
  5. ^ a b c d Amendola (2015), pp. 131–133.
  6. ^ The Hollywood Reporter - John Lasseter Opens Up About Secret Winery for First Time. Retrieved March 25, 2014
  7. ^ Trademarkia - Justi Creek Railway. Retrieved June 8, 2016
  8. ^ a b Hartlaub, Peter (10 August 2016). "How Pixar wizard's love of trains picked up steam". San Francisco Chronicle. Retrieved 21 June 2017.(subscription required)
  9. ^ Amendola (2015), p. 124.
  10. ^ Ollie Drives the Marie E at Disneyland. Retrieved March 25, 2014
  11. ^ Carolwood Chronicle, Summer 2015, p. 7. Retrieved June 8, 2016
  12. ^ Pcrailroad at Gmail.Com (May 14, 2007). "Pacific Coast Railroad Co.: The 2007 Round-Up". Archived from the original on April 26, 2011. Retrieved December 31, 2010.
  13. ^ a b Eades, Mark (July 28, 2017). "Disneyland's River Rides and Railroad Open to the Public with New Route". Orange County Register. Archived from the original on July 28, 2017. Retrieved July 29, 2017.
  14. ^ Naples Winter Wine Festival - Image of Justi Creek Railway depot and water tower. Retrieved June 8, 2016
  15. ^ Ballard, Kelli (February 16, 2016). "Disneyland depot inspired by Porterville". The Porterville Recorder. Archived from the original on April 7, 2019. Retrieved April 7, 2019.
  16. ^ "Public Information Map". esri. Retrieved 2017-11-26.


  • Amendola, Dana (2015), All Aboard: The Wonderful World of Disney Trains (1st ed.), Disney Editions, ISBN 978-1-4231-1714-8

External links[edit]