Fourth generation farmer, Lee Martinelli Jr., and his wife Pamela acquired this very steep piece of property from Bob and Lolita Young in 1999. The Ranch is named for Bob’s late wife, Lolita. This site is unique with its south-eastern facing slopes that rival our Jackass Hill in steepness. The Chardonnay vines were planted in 2001 with clones 17 and 76. The vines are trained on a vertical trellis system and are tightly spaced at 2,000 plants per acre. The grapevines are thinned to bear between 2 and 3 pounds of fruit per vine, with the clusters hanging 24 inches above the ground.
The growing year in 2014 was the third dry year in a row and was full of unforeseen challenges provided by Mother Nature. You would think the ongoing drought, excessive heat from March thru June, and hail in early April would have brought down the quality of this vintage. Thankfully this was not the case! Even though the harvest was very early, the small berry size and healthy yields have produced very well balanced wines; they are not over-bearing in tannin or structure, and are a pleasure to drink.