Bodegas Lustau is a famous Sherry producer in Andalucia and is arguably the most recognized fortified wine producer in the world.
It was founded in 1896 by José Ruiz-Berdejo as an almacenista, which also grew its own vines. Almacenistas generally bought young wine (Ruiz made his own) and matured them in their own soleras, before selling them to larger houses, who would either blend it with older wine, or mature it longer in their larger soleras. It wasn't until the 1950s that Ruiz's son-in-law Emilio Lustau Ortega began bottling and exporting his own wine.
Now based in Jerez, Lustau is the only winery that has sites in all three cities of the Sherry triangle: Jerez de la Frontera, El Puerto de Santa María and Sanlúcar de Barrameda. Lustau buys fruit from vineyards, while also maintaining two of its own. The first is the Montegilillo vineyard, which is on the white limestone albariza soil local to the region. The second is the Las Cruces vineyard, which is on sandy coastal soils.
Lustau now produces a range of Sherry, but achieves the most recognition for its Almacenista collection. Continuing the tradition, the collection is series of single offerings from smaller producers that Lustau bottles and distributes. The style of the local producer is maintained and their name is featured on the bottle.
In testament to Lustau's reputation as a top winery, it was named Best Spanish Producer at the 2011 International Wine and Spirit Competition.