This rugged vineyard is referred to by the Martinelli family as “Jackass Hill,” because only a jackass would farm a hill that steep. Jackass Hill is the steepest non-terraced hillside vineyard in Sonoma County, boasting slopes of 65 degrees. Lee Sr. is the third generation Martinelli farmer to care-take the original family homestead land; farming the ancient vineyard much as his grandfather Giuseppe had in the 1880s, without irrigation, pesticides or trellising.
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.