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Our Luli Life

Wine offers expression of people-in-relation rather than selves apart. Luli, the result of a partnership between a master sommelier, a distinguished vineyard manager and an expert winemaker, provides a particularly happy example of the way in which wine creates community, because Luli is itself a collective enterprise. Sommelier, grape-grower, and winemaker, we three approach wine from different angles, but work synergistically to craft exceptional hand-crafted vintages at comfortable prices. We thrive together—and have fun doing so. And why not? The pleasure of wine supplies us with a way to enjoy life. So open a bottle, pour the swirling liquid into a glass, and celebrate, as we do, the bonds between family and friends.

Sara Floyd, our sommelier, owns Swirl Wine Brokers and has a long history finding and distributing delectable wines for restaurants. Mark Pisoni, our grape grower, coaxes the vines to produce top-notch fruit with which Jeff, his brother, crafts outstanding vintages. With Luli, we set out as a team to create a new line of wines from high-quality fruit that is both affordable and top-notch.

Luli wines are sourced from vineyards in or near the Santa Lucia Highlands, the Pisoni family’s home base. Together with Sara, the goal of Jeff and Mark is to illustrate the very best this beautiful wine region has to offer. Accordingly, we purchase grapes from old friends in the area and in this way stay close to the process of farming. The wine production itself takes place exclusively at our Sonoma county winery.

We live wine. We are a master sommelier, grapegrowers and winemakers. Our partnership—Sara Floyd and the Pisoni Family—came together from different aspects of the wine business. Sara is a Master Sommelier, the owner of Swirl Wine Brokers and has a long history in wine and restaurants. The Pisoni Family is known for its eponymous vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands and for Pisoni Estate and Lucia wines. Deciding that we would make a great team and noting the shortage of handcrafted wines at reasonable prices, we set out to create a new line of wines that you would love, at prices you can afford. We seek high quality fruit and craft exceptional wines.

Our goal is to showcase the beauty of our region with wines of consistent quality

Sara Floyd, Master Sommelier

Sara Floyd has had a varied and colorful career in the wine business. Looking to make her own mark in the wine world, in 2001, Sara launched Swirl Wine Brokers in San Francisco with Lawrence Boone.  Swirl is a state-wide broker that carefully selects and represents wines from California, Washington, Oregon, France, Spain, Italy, Germany and Austria.  It has also been innovative in seeking out wines from Hungry, Switzerland, Greece, and Macedonia.

Her success as a business woman should be sufficient enough to establish her credibility. But in addition to all she has done, Sara Floyd is a Master Sommelier, the tenth woman in the world to have earned the title.

In 2007 Sara and the Pisoni Family launched Luli Wines, specializing in high quality, value wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands.  Luli produces Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah and rose, with an annual production of fifteen thousand cases.

In 2010 at the young age of forty, Sara and her husband Jim became parents to fraternal twin boys which along with co-running two companies keeps Sara on her tiptoes.

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Mark Pisoni, Vineyard Manager

In the Santa Lucia Highlands, Mark’s day begins well before dawn. He walks the land when it lies under morning fog and when wind stirs the leaves of the vines in the afternoon. The grandson of farmers and the son of a winemaker, Mark is as happy around plants as he is around people. As a boy, he watched the rows of vines at Pisoni Vineyards in all weather and looked forward to the responsibility of tending them. Now, as Pisoni’s vineyard manager, Mark is particularly well-placed for keeping a close eye on the region in which he grew up and from which Luli wine is sourced. These wines, developed from vineyards that range from the southern tip of this benchland to the northern reaches of the appellation, beautifully express the reach and diversity of the Santa Lucia growing region.

Jeff Pisoni, Winemaker

Jeff grew up on the family ranch alongside Mark. Where Mark’s interest in farming encouraged him to learn how to grow grapes, Jeff’s fascination with chemistry led him just as naturally to adopt the art and science of winemaking as his vocation. As vintner for the Pisoni family, Jeff has spent years eliciting the soul of the land in the wines he crafts. Now he puts this same expert knowledge to work on the vineyard blocks and clones from which Mark sources Luli. Each and every bottle is crafted in ways rarely seen by Luli’s peers. As with Lucia and Pisoni Estate wines, Jeff supervises the hand-sorting of Luli fruit at the winery, carries out native yeast fermentation, and cellars the wine in 100% French oak barrels with no filtration. Such techniques, along with gentle gravity-flow operations and other methods, allow him to capture the essence of the Santa Lucia Highlands in bottle.

Our Wines

Luli wines are special. The result of a successful partnership between two brothers and a longtime friend, each vintage and every varietal offers illustration of the strength of this collective. Such is the spirit of Luli–a gathering together of talent; which, when poured, will reflect the vibrancy of your own gatherings. Tip a glass of tawny-colored Sauvignon Blanc toward a friend during a birthday party or after-work celebration and enjoy what we’ve made. Reach across a long table set with holiday dishes with the deep plum of a Syrah held high in a goblet and take extra pleasure in the party. With Luli we offer the juice of grapes to warm the hearts of friends.