Two siblings from Louisiana, USA find themselves living in southern Spain and wind up starting a winery. It isn’t a conventional story of origin in these parts, a place that boasts more than 2,000 years of viticulture and winemaking tradition. However, for me and my sister, Leigh, this is our story and our family venture that connects our loved ones in our adopted home of Spain with those loved ones living in the States.
The roots of this story don’t start in Spain, but rather in New York City where I lived in my 20s. I had a great job, and by the world’s standards I should have been happy. Yet there was a void that even the best of cities and all its energy could not fill. I longed for experiences the city could not offer. I wanted to be surrounded by nature, and to pursue my passions, even if I didn’t know exactly what those were at the time.
So, I left. I moved to South America and, later, to Mexico. I learned Spanish. I volunteered. I worked various, odd jobs. All the while, I drew inspiration from the new cultures and places in which I found myself immersed.
My friends in these communities invited me to many Sunday family meals and it became clear to me the importance they placed on family, faith, and farming…the same intrinsic values of my upbringing in Louisiana. I thought about these simple moments of happiness at the table, making connections with those seated around it through food and drink, and the role farming plays in these special moments that are too often taken for granted.
I decided to explore this idea further and found work on a small vineyard and winery in Valle de Guadalupe, Mexico. I loved it - working with my hands, being with the vines, and seeing my efforts in the sun later contribute to something tangible, beautiful, and delicious in a glass. Immediately, I started studying to learn the science behind this mystical process while continuing my work in the field. I had found my passion.
But there was still something missing. I remained disconnected from family and a supportive community. It all came together for me while on holiday visiting Leigh in Málaga, Spain. She had married into a big, Spanish family not too different from our own in Louisiana. The people I met in Andalucía reminded me of my folks back home and of my friends scattered around the globe. They had an appreciation for culture and tradition, they enjoyed life, and they saw the value in the quality of time spent around a table of good food and wine. So, I made one final move to Spain to find opportunities and gain more experience in the “Old World.” It ultimately led me here, to the Serranía de Ronda.
When I found the farm, now known as Bodega Luis y Ana, it was as if the pieces of a puzzle – each country, each experience, each lesson learned – finally fit together. In essence, the values instilled in me as a child in Louisiana were now being fully appreciated here in Spain. With this in mind, we move forward, hoping the fruits of our labor pay homage to the shared history and culture of both places, not only through our name, but with our wines.