Zinfandel, ‘Giuseppe & Luisa’, Martinelli
The year was 1899 when Giuseppe and Luisa Martinelli planted three acres of Zinfandel in the Russian River Valley. 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 de-vigorating 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.
The grapes are picked between 25 and 26 degrees brix. After picking, the whole berries undergo a long cool fermentation to generate skin contact and expose fruit character and are fermented with wild yeast. The juice is transferred to oak barrels with a touch of residual sugar remaining to complete the fermentation process in barrel until dry. It rests in 33% new French oak on its gross lees for ten months. The finished wine is un-fined, un-filtered, neither cold nor heat stabilized and contains naturally occurring sediment.
Case Production: 867