I got word this morning that Luke Russ passed away. For those that didn’t know him, he was one of the best, and that’s probably an understatement. He was a friend to so many. You will be missed dearly by not just me, but what seems like everyone in the wine world.
I heard this sad news, too. He was a great guy - very sad and unexpected news.
Such a bummer - a great loss indeed . . .
Yes, the one and the same.
Indeed very sad news!
Any officiel statement?
Went to the website and did not see anything. Very sad and one of the better wineries out of Napa with MN roots.
None that I have seen. Just some posts on his Facebook page and others posting on social media.
Luke was incredibly hard working to make them a well known brand. He was a truly special guy. He was so much more than O’Shaughnessy. HIs understanding of Napa and his connections in Napa were incredible.
He actually had a “friends and family” brand called Pop 300 that was all Oakville fruit. It was a Rose made of To-Kalon Pinot Noir (yes, you read that right) and a really cool white blend. For $35 or whatever the heck he charged, it was amazing stuff.
Interesting. I somehow ended up with 3 bottles of the 2018 Pop 300 white blend. Very nice wine.
RIP and my condolences to his friends and family.
Thanks for posting this Ian. I maybe met him many years ago at an industry event in MN but have always been a big fan of their wines!
Paul and Betty created a remarkable business. Alan Pierson and Sean Capiaux have been there since the beginning, and Luke was hired around 2000. Consistency in a world that usually lacks that.
Agree. Wines have always been popular in MN for all the right reasons!
Agree, I have imported O’Shaughnessy for years and known Luke for might be 10 years and also importeded his own POP300.
Terrible loss for us all and especially his family off course, heartbreaking!
I just met him a few weeks ago, he sat across from me at a Castello dinner. Affable, said he worked for “a little winery in town”. Sad news.
This is such a shock to learn. I’ve known Luke for as long as I’ve been in the valley, since 1999. We were supposed to get together last Fall to taste again at O’Shaughnessy but schedules never matched. The winery has a little go-cart he invited me to ride down the hill. When I was there with him a couple of years ago, I told him “next time.” We’ve lost a good man and part of the fabric that makes Napa Valley such a special place. Luke owned the house across the street from our property in Calistoga until last Spring.
I would strongly recommend going back, and try to meet up with Alan Pierson to walk the vineyards. They have some super eclectic varietals in the vineyard (St. Macaire, Gros Verdot and Carmenere) that are worth checking out.
My sincere condolences for those that knew him. Sounds like a fantastic person.
That sounds like Luke. Said with a slight smile and a twinkle in his eye? It is difficult to realize he is gone.
Thank you for posting this Ian. Knew I could count on the Berserkers to eulogize the man. Luke would have loved to read the thread.
There is a GoFundMe for Luke’s kids set up for their college education.