The Lolita Ranch is located on Martinelli Road in Forestville. The property was part of the original Martinelli Homestead Ranch, belonging to Giuseppe and Luisa Martinelli who purchased the steep, forested land in the late 1800’s. Later, their eldest son Fred sold the parcel to his neighbor, Lolita Young’s mother. Eventually Bob and Lolita Young inherited it, and ran a herd of cattle on the land for many years. Lee Martinelli Jr. and his wife Pamela acquired the property in 1999 from Bob Young after Lolita’s passing, returning it back to the Martinelli estate and to the family’s continuing century-long legacy of viticulture. Lee Jr. decided to name the ranch after Lolita, and planted the steep hillside in 2001 with four different grape varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel.
The 2019 season was overall very cool with record rainfall for Sonoma County in
February. The vines however were not affected by this because they were still
dormant at the time. Similar to the 2018 season, spring and summer were
moderate in temperature and ripening developed gradually and under minimal
stress. This year was in fact so similar to 2018 that we began harvest the same
day, on September 10th. Unfortunately another wildfire hit the region at the end of
October, but luckily none of our vineyards were affected. The winery and many
employees were evacuated, but we were able to keep an eye on the new vintage
with a skeleton crew. The quality was not impacted and we are very excited at the
concentration of flavors in this vintage.