The original company was founded in 1896 by Don José Ruiz-Berdejo, a wholesaler who grew vines on an estate that is still in the family, and sold his wines to the large exporting bodegas. Don Emilio Lustau Ortega, his son-in-law, established the bodega in 1940 in the old quarter of Jerez de la Frontera, from where the company has been exporting its wines since 1950. Over the next 40 years, there was considerable development, including new bodega facilities, until in 1990 the company was bought by the Luis Caballero Group. Further expansion followed, with the acquisition from Domecq in 2000 of a vast area of bodegas covering 20,000m², which was restored and is now the main location for housing Emilio Lustau wines. Certain Domecq brands were acquired in 2008, along with their 'soleras', amounting to 4,000 butts that are used for ageing sherry in the traditional way.
Exporting has always been of paramount importance to Emilio Lustau and their huge range, totalling some 40 wines, can be found in the same number of countries, with around 4/5 of production sent abroad. Significantly, they cover the sherry-making triangle of three towns, having their own premises in Jerez de la Frontera and El Puerto de San María, and strong ties in Sanlúcar de Barrameda.