This wine is a barrel-blend from select Martinelli single vineyard zinfandel sites: Jackass, Vellutini, Lolita and Giuseppe & Luisa. Our Vellutini, Lolita and Giuseppe & Luisa vineyards were planted with cuttings from our 135 year-old Jackass Zinfandel clones. These vineyards are grown in cool regions of the Russian River Valley, allowing the deeper, dark flavors to develop in the grapes versus black pepper, characteristic of warmer vineyard sites. It is named for Evo Martinelli, who was raised on Martinelli Road. He was Lee Sr.'s first cousin, the son of Fred Martinelli. Evo gave Lee Sr. one of his first jobs out of the vineyard and instilled the importance of going to college in him as a young man.
The 2018 season was much calmer than 2017, due to the absence of extra rain and heat spikes we experienced in 2017. The moderate temperatures in the spring and summer allowed for a longer growing season and full flavor development. There was plenty of water in the soil to carry the clusters through the long growing season with minimal dehydration. Our first day of harvest in 2018 was September 10th, compared with an August 26th start in 2017. It was nice that the production crew could enjoy the Labor Day holiday right before the long hours and hard work of harvest began.