Sweet aromas of hazelnut, lemon blossom, and wet stone hit your nose upon the first sniff. The fresh and surprisingly full palate has flavors of lemon, fresh cream, and spiced pear. Beautiful flavors of Gardenia are found in the finish.
The Three Sisters Vineyard consists of two small vineyard sites: the Meadow, and the Lambing Barn Ridge, as this land was originally homesteaded in the 1860’s for raising sheep by Carolyn Martinelli’s ancestors. These pasture lands were planted with grapevines in the 1990’s. This grape studded view lies upon the second ridge inland from the coastline at Fort Ross. Here above the fog line the skies are clear and pristine, yet in the winter the rain falls harder and denser than anywhere else in Sonoma County. Both sites are planted with clones 95, 96, and 76 and the soil is a mix of Josephine and Gold Ridge soil.
2020 will likely go down as one of the most memorable harvests in Martinelli history. The growing season was nearly perfect until mid-August when two nearby wildfires were ignited by a dry lightning storm. At this point in the berries’ growth cycle, the skins are softening and developing favors. Because we religiously prioritize the quality of our wines and the integrity of our brand, we made the hard but crucial decision to not make any Pinot Noir from the 2020 vintage. Unlike the other varieties that we grow, Pinot Noir is susceptible to absorbing flavors from its surroundings because it is exceptionally thin skinned. Therefore, we are able to pick up terroir flavor nuances even within the same AVA in this grape. Luckily, we have Chardonnay, Zinfandel and Syrah from the 2020 vintage. Chardonnay is removed from its skins as soon as it enters the winery, so contact with any smoke flavors is extremely minimal. Zinfandel and Syrah both have very tough skins and did not absorb the smoke flavors we tasted in the Pinots. Though we were only able to process half the amount of fruit we do in a normal year, we are grateful for the outstanding wines we were able to make from the 2020 harvest.