Welcome to
Lone Mountain Wagyu

Purveyors of a life well-eaten

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Chapter 1

Our Story

Our story is really two stories… the story of the Lone Mountain Ranch and the story of our Wagyu

The first story starts in Golden, New Mexico circa 1965… the year Marion and Glen Lloyd acquired the 27,000 acres underneath Lone Mountain that became the Ranch. They used it as a place where the family could explore the beautiful valley that rests between the Ortiz and San Pedro ranges, a place where they could enjoy life to the fullest. They also raised different breeds of commercial cattle (this was long before Wagyu was a word anyone in the West knew.)

The second story begins in 2004. Mary Lloyd (their daughter) and Bob Estrin (her husband) had taken over the Ranch a few years earlier and kept it up as both family reserve and working farm.

But Bob had what people like to call an epiphany. He happened to try Wagyu at a restaurant in Santa Monica and he was hooked. The incredible marbling. The unbelievable richness.

Wagyu was the future.

He bought two Wagyu bulls, with immaculate pedigree, and began the process of transitioning the entire herd to Wagyu, which was done by 2008.

Now, we sell our Wagyu to anyone who believes that the best beef in the world is the secret to a life well-eaten. That’s everyone from you and your neighbors to Michelin-starred restaurants all over the country.

If you haven’t tried our Wagyu, we think you might like it. Let us help you eat life to the fullest.

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Where to Find Us?

Our product is available in select restaurants and gourmet retailers across the country. Browse our partners on the map here to find a location near you!

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How Our Herd Started

Lone Mountain Wagyu is one of the only producers of Fullblood Wagyu beef in the U.S. Click through for a snapshot of the company's commitment to quality Wagyu.

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Chapter 2

Our Wagyu

If you know your Wagyu, skip on. If not… here’s the deal

Wagyu is a breed of Japanese cattle that, owing to some remarkable genetics, is renowned for its rich flavor and marbling. In fact the very word Wagyu translates literally to ‘Japanese Cow.’

Its most famous expression is Kobe Beef, a luxurious delicacy named for the capital city (Kobe) of the Hyogo Prefecture, where Wagyu are raised and slaughtered under strict guidelines.

So all Kobe is Wagyu, but not all Wagyu is Kobe. It’s that simple.

FYI: there is no such thing as American Kobe. It’s nonsense.

Now, Wagyu cattle have been exported and raised all over the world, most successfully in the USA and Australia. Often times, it’s crossbreed with other breeds of cattle (like Angus.) This creates a complicated and deceiving classification system. It also dilutes what makes Wagyu so special, because the less Wagyu genetics in an animal, the less rich and marbled it will be.

We don’t like that. We want our meat to be as rich and marbled as possible.

Obviously.

So at Lone Mountain Wagyu, our cattle are never crossbred. They are 100% Wagyu. Each animal is DNA-certified to show its direct lineage to its Japanese heritage.

Because it’s that heritage that gives Wagyu its superpowers. The most important of which is… marbling!

Marbling refers to the delicate lines of fat that curl and tendril through a steak. Marbling gives beef flavor. So it’s graded on how much Intramuscular Fat (IMF) it contains. The highest ranking of beef you can buy in the US is Prime. That’s around 10-12% IMF.

There’s nothing wrong with Prime, but Wagyu can do better.

It’s hard to put a number on how much better, but fortunately… we can.

At least three times better. Our Wagyu has an IMF between 28-40%.

And that fat isn’t just normal fat. Wagyu is full of Omega-3 and Omega-6 fatty acids, those same good monounsaturated fats you find in salmon. Wagyu’s fat also melts at a lower temperature, so you get a rich, silky texture that coats your mouth with every bite. (It’s also far better for you, as the ratio of HDL to LDL is far higher than in other beef.)

Make sense? Ok. Good. Here’s where it gets even more interesting.

There are several strains of Wagyu. The Japanese tradition is to breed those different strains to create an animal with the highest quality offspring. This takes time and patience and very, very careful record-keeping. If you ever want to go down a fascinating black hole of Wagyu lineage, just ask Bob to see his records.

One of the things we do is combine the Tajima strain (a Black Wagyu acclaimed for intense marbling) with Shimane or Fujiyoshi strains (also Black Wagyu known for their large size.) This creates a perfect animal that’s strong, healthy, and (most importantly) highly marbled.

And to make sure that we don’t waste the opportunity that Wagyu genetics and breeding has given us, we wet-age our meat. This concentrates all the flavor and creates an unreal, earthy supple mouthfeel that is just… well… decadent.

So that’s the science of it… but it’s not all about nature. Nurture plays a key role in raising Wagyu that delivers the goods. You can raise Wagyu cattle badly and have bad meat. We think you should raise it well. If you want to know how we do it, read on.

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What's the difference between Wagyu and Kobe?

Most frequently asked question. Check out this blog post to learn the important differences and similarities.

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A History of Wagyu Beef - Infographic

A brief visual history of Wagyu Beef.

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The History of Wagyu in America

In the US, Wagyu has begun to light up the epicurean and ranching worlds. Here’s how this Japanese treasure became an American delicacy.

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Wagyu Around the World

Unrivaled in quality and prestige, Wagyu beef is featured on menus of award-winning global restaurants.

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Chapter 3

Our Practices

Simply put, happy cattle produce delicious meat

They say 60% of Wagyu quality comes from genetics and 40% from how they are raised.

That means we have to raise them in the most humane way possible. We do this by paying careful attention to breeding and genetics, feeding rations, and creating a stress-free environment.

Feed

Our cattle are pasture-raised, supplemented with a traditional corn-free blend of grain to cultivate marbling, developed specifically for Wagyu. We implement slow-feeding, allowing the cows to gain weight at a steady and natural pace over 500-600 days, rather than induce rapid weight gain like conventional operations. This is best for the animals also creates a delicate and even marbling.

Environment

Creating a stress-free environment is critical for Wagyu and has been identified as a key element in developing marbling, as well as being what’s best for the animals’ care. Lots of things can stress them out: weather, poor handling, fear, physical surroundings and changes in their feed. We do our best to mitigate their stress, offering our cattle the utmost individual care and attention. Happy cows are healthy cows!

Humane Animal Treatment

Our entire operation is dedicated to holistic animal care. We treat our animals with kindness and respect at all times. They spend their days on the Ranch roaming our pastures before moving to our Certified Humane feedlot partner. They are never administered hormones or subtherapeutic antibiotics.

Sustainability

We are committed to sustainable ranching principals including:

  • Rotational Pasture System to perpetuate our ranchland ecosystem and diversity
  • Non-irrigated pastures
  • Single 64-acre irrigated pasture for intensive grazing
  • Solar powered fences
  • Traditional windmill powered water drinkers
  • Supporting local farmers

And to make sure that the world stays as clean as it can, we strive to bring our Wagyu to you in a sustainable manner through eco-conscious packaging. Our Thermal Shipping Envelopes are foam-free, made with biodegradable cotton insulation and polyfill from recycled, purified cotton textiles, sent via carbon-neutral shipping.

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Chapter 4

Our People

So, who are these Wagyu mavericks determined to help you eat life to the fullest?

Meet the family and crew that make the Lone Mountain Wagyu magic happen.

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Robert (Bob) Estrin, President

Favorite Cut of Wagyu: Strip Steak

Originally from New Mexico, Bob built a career as an acclaimed Hollywood film editor for classic films including The Candidate, Badlands, and A River Runs Through It. Since inheriting the family business, Bob has been studying Wagyu to the fullest — traveling to Japan, poring over historical texts, and serving as the President of the American Wagyu Association. His latest passion project is a translation of the definitive Japanese Wagyu text known as ‘The 100 Greatest Wagyu of Japan’ to teach the industry about its own history and its future here in America.

Griff Foxley, Chief Operating Officer

Favorite Cut of Wagyu: Strip Steak

Griff, Bob and Mary’s son-in-law, joined the family business in 2007. He was born to eat life to the fullest: as a toddler he preferred the haddock and pate he could sneak from his parents’ plates to the fish sticks and fries on his own. Before he came to the Ranch, he worked on the editorial side of the Zagat Survey, but decided it was more fun to make the food than to write about it. He now lives in LA and fulfills his passion for life by running, writing, cooking for his wife and two kids.

Reid Martin, Director of Sales

Favorite Cut of Wagyu: Short Rib

Reid grew up with beef in his blood on his family ranch and dairy farm in Northern California near the Oregon border. He made his first trade for a beef heifer with his Dad when he was 9-years old and has never looked back. Before joining the LMW team, he spent ten years in the grass-fed beef industry out of San Francisco. But his passion for Wagyu was ignited long before that, when he spent two years teaching English in Japan. Reid lives in San Francisco with his wife, 2 kids, and his Big Green Egg.

Sindi Torres, Manager of Operations & Customer Relations

Favorite Cut of Wagyu: Flat Iron Steak & Ribeye

Sindi grew up on a small family farm just north of Los Angeles surrounded by chickens, goats, and horses, giving her a profound understanding of the importance of sustainability and ethically raising animals. Before she came to the Ranch, she earned a degree in Psychology and worked as a Research Assistant at the Cognitive Development Lab at UC Riverside. Outside of the office and off the farm, Sindi can be indulging in her other passions: tennis and ultramarathons.

quote

Wagyu is like the world’s great wines & cheeses. It reflects the people who raised it."

Mark Schatzker, Journalist and Food Writer

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