Martinelli Winery: Where Wine Flows like Cider

Martinelli Winery

Every year, Sonoma hosts a big barrel tasting event for a weekend or two in March. You can taste wine right out of the barrel and potentially buy wine futures. Sounds interesting. Also sounds like something that draws a lot of people to the neighborhood… and it did.  We didn’t know this was happening when we headed up there with some friends visiting from the East Coast. Our first stop was supposed to be Martin Ray, but they were packed so we called an audible, pulled out a map, and looked for wineries opting out of the weekend festivities. So, on we went…

Martinelli Winery was one of a handful of nearby wineries that wasn’t participating in the event, so it quickly jumped towards the top of our list.  They do a variety of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel. We liked their Bella Vigna Pinot Noir, but weren’t really blown away by anything. And we definitely didn’t buy anything. Additionally, they only do single vineyards. While that could be (and often times is) very interesting, we thought it really limited them from combining grapes to make something that’s bigger and better than its pieces.

As we left, Chris jokingly suggested that we start a drinking game. The rules are simple: Drink if you hear the host say “terroir.” Ha. The word (meaning “a sense of place,” by the way, and often used to allude to the type of soil, weather, landscape, etc.) is completely at home with most serious wine connoisseurs. But to us it just sounds like people are trying too hard. We just love wine for what it is.

Oh, and if we had played this game at Martinelli, we would have not been able to walk back to the car.

Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Sonoma Valley, Zinfandel

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