Giuseppe and Luisa Martinelli planted three acres of Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley in the 1880s.The old vineyard is now known as Jackass Hill and remains the steepest non-terraced hillside vineyard in Sonoma County. Nearly one century later Giuseppe and Luisa’s grandson, Lee Martinelli Sr., followed in their footsteps by planting a Zinfandel vineyard. He grafted bud wood from the centurion vines onto low-vigor rootstocks and planted them one meter by two meters apart, equating to about 2,000 vines per acre, on a rocky knoll above the Martinelli Winery Tasting Room in Russian River Valley.
The 2018 season was much calmer than the rain and heat spikes we 2017. experienced in The moderate temperature in the spring and the warm summer allowed for a longer growing season and full flavor development. There was plenty of water in the soil to carry the clusters though the long season with minimal dehydration. Our first day of harvest in 2018 was September 10th compared with August 26th of 2017. With the later start of production crew could enjoy the Labor Day holiday right before the long hours harvest, the and hard work of harvest began.