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Grapes on the vine

The Vineyards  

Guido Venturi Vineyard, Mendocino County

A new vineyard designate for us. Elisco and Laudomia Venturi purchased the Venturi Vineyard in 1924. This thirty-acre vineyard is primarily flat land and gentle slope with the exception of a little over two acres on a north-facing hillside. (Hence where we source our Zin). These two acres were planted on St.George rootstock and dry farmed, in soil that is clay at the top of the hill turming gradually into a rich loam at the bottom. Another classic Zin from a new area (appellation) for us and truly different from our other Zin offerings. Planted by Guido himself, he is one of the original Mendocino County Grapes Growers along with John Parducci and Charles Barra. His son Gary, who does a terrific job, now farms the vineyard. Gary insisted the vineyard designation carry his father's name (Guido). Much respect! This is Zin that we are proud and lucky to have sourced and highlight from truly a historic figure in Mendocino County, grown in the small hamlet of Calpella (the name of a northern Pomo Indian chief), north of Ukiah and west of the Redwood Valley Appellation. Unique, small and not to be forgotten. Isn't this fun? Our quest for art in history fused together by the magic of wine continues.

Braccialini Vineyard, Zinfandel, Alexander Valley

The vineyard is located a little northwest of Cloverdale in the northernmost reaches of the Alexander Valley Appellation. This particular fruit comes from a 4 acre block planted in a deep loamy clay soil on St. George rootstock and dry farmed. There is some confusion about the age of the vines (25-35 years) but to call them mature would be appropriate. The cuttings for these vines were mostly gathered from the old Asti vineyards and some local old Italian family vineyards as well. No particular clones are identified.

Martinelli Road Vineyard, Zinfandel, Russian River Valley

The vineyard was originally planted in 1870 by the Banfield family. The Banfields purchased the rootstock from a supplier in San Francisco. This rootstock originated in both France and Italy. At some point the land with this particular Zinfandel vineyard was sold to the Butler family who owned it until 1903 at which time is was sold to Giuseppe Martinelli. Some of these 30 year old vines were failing so Giuseppe Martinelli purchased new rootstock from San Francisco making the round trip to and from Forestville with a horse drawn wagon. All of the new rootstock originated in Italy. (it is unknown what percentage of the vineyard was replanted at this time) Giuseppe Martinelli worked this vineyard with his wife and children until 1918.

In 1918 the management of the entire Martinelli estate was turned over to Giuseppe's three sons; Fred, Domingo and Leno. The Martinelli estate was officially divided among the brothers in 1934 with this portion of the Zinfandel vineyard going to Domingo, who produced wine grapes with his wife and children until 1977. Domingo's children; Joseph Martinelli and Emily Duckhorn, along with their spouses and children continued working the vineyard until 2002. Currently Joseph Martinelli and and Emily's children, Andy Duckhorn and Julie Speakes continue the over one hundred year family tradition of growing wine grapes.

Martinelli Road vineyard

Wiley Vineyard, Pinot Noir, Anderson Valley

Wiley planted its first vines in 1972, Making it the fourth of the so-called "modern" viticulturalists in Anderson Valley, after Edmeades, Husch and van Hoorn respectively.

The vines for this Pinot Noir were planted in 1982, on both southwest and northwest facing gentle slopes, and include fruit from the the Pommard #5 and Martin Ray, sometimes called "Romanee Conti," #37 clones. Soil is former upland pasture, dense sandy loam and fractured sandstone from the Franciscan Formation.

Anderson Valley climate is strongly influenced by its closeness to the ocean and the cooling marine flow from the nearby Pacific Ocean. Wiley Vineyard is exactly ten miles from the beach, and the site is closest to the ocean of any valley floor vineyard. The growing season for the fruit is one of the longest in Anderson Valley. On a typical warm day during verraison the afternoon temperature can rise one degree Fahrenheit each two miles between the vineyard site near Navarro and the capital of the valley, Boonville, some fifteen miles to the south.

Vines are cane-pruned with 10 X 6' spacing. Irrigation program emphasizes a "deficit" schedule with all water applied in August and September.