The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in the Russian River Valley since the 1880’s. At the ages of 19 and 16, Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini eloped from their small village in the Tuscany region of Italy, making their way to California looking for land to farm and start a winery. Giuseppe had been a winemaker in Italy and with his viticulture knowledge he was hired to plant a vineyard for a farmer in Forestville. Within two years he earned enough money, and borrowed some from a local wood cutter, to purchase land of his own. Working side by side on a 60 degree slope, Giuseppe and Luisa planted a small area of Zinfandel and Muscat Alexandria vines, which later became known as the Jackass Hill vineyard. Over 100 years later, this south easterly exposure remains the steepest non-terraced vineyard in Sonoma County.
The primary goal of Martinelli Winery has always been hand-crafting quality wines that are born in our estate vineyards. The grapes come from estate grown fruit, allowing us to use only our favorite blocks for each vineyard designated wine. We have a commitment to quality and have never offered for sale a wine that we felt did not live up to the reputation and expectations of its label. We also try to maintain a sense of consistency with each vintage, while still allowing the true nature of the vineyard to shine through. These wines are limited production and each vineyard is hand farmed very carefully, producing only the finest quality fruit.