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.
Heavy rainfall and floods dominated late winter and early Spring 2019. This rain pushed bud break into late March and early April. Both April and May were cool which slowed down the growth in the vines and stretched out ripening. The summer was very temperate, with a bit of heat just before harvest to help push the flavors. Overall we were around 10 days later in all stages from bud break to harvest than in the 2018 vintage. This long growing season allowed for full and rich flavor development.