Bottled Spirit

Photo by Jon Rou

During LMU’s centennial celebrations of 2011, Steve Brutocao ’86, owner and CEO of Brutocao Cellars, and Christopher Silva ’86, CEO at St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, produced editions of their wines as a way to donate to their alma mater and celebrate the historic occasion. Now the winemakers are carrying on the tradition through Loyola Marymount University Private Label Wines.

Brutocao Cellars, which is producing a chardonnay, sauvignon blanc, pinot noir and cabernet sauvignon for the project (see sidebar), makes its wines from vineyards in southern Mendocino County that trace their roots to the family’s purchase of land in 1943. St. Francis Winery & Vineyards, which is contributing a merlot and zinfandel, owns vineyards in the Sonoma Valley and the Russian River Valley, and produces an “Old Vines” Zinfandel from vines that are more than 100 years old.

The wines’ labels were designed by students in the graphic design program of the Department of Studio Arts: Courtney Chun ’13, who designed the Brutocao labels, and Meghan Toomayan ’13, who designed for St. Francis.

“The main thing I wanted to show was a sophisticated and elegant side of LMU,” Chun said, “while still keeping some of the spirit of the school. The wine labels feature traditional fonts but also incorporate traditional LMU themes, such as the image of the lion.”

“Both of my designs use a warm color palette,” Toomayan said. “Because the wines represent LMU, I wanted to include iconic scenes like the bluff and the chapel tower that make LMU a special place.”

The Wines

LMU Private Label Wines offer six varietals that include an award-winning 2012 chardonnay, a 2012 sauvignon blanc, a 2011 pinot noir and a 2011 cabernet sauvignon from Brutocao Cellars, and an award-winning 2011 “Old Vines” zinfandel and a 2011 merlot from St. Francis Winery & Vineyards. Orders are fulfilled by the wineries and a portion of each purchase goes to LMU’s Greatest Needs Fund, which supports university priorities, including student scholarships, programs and services. Order wines or learn more about them.

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