2017 Martinelli "Zio Tony" Chardonnay, Russian River Valley
"The Martinelli family has been growing grapes in the Russian River Valley since 1887. At the ages of 19 and 16, Giuseppe Martinelli and Luisa Vellutini left their small village in the Tuscany region of Italy and made their way to California looking for land to farm and start a winery. Giuseppe had been a winemaker in Italy and with his viticultural knowledge he was hired to plant a vineyard for a farmer in Forestville. 100 years later, the historic Martinelli Estate vineyards are farmed by Lee Martinelli, Sr., and sons Lee, Jr. and George Martinelli. The wines are made by winemaker Bryan Kvamme. These handcrafted wines are unfined, unfiltered, neither cold nor heat stabilized and may contain naturally occurring sediment.
The Zio Tony Ranch is named after Lee Sr.’s uncle Tony who was the first in the Bondi family to be born on American soil. Zio Tony, Zio meaning ‘uncle’ in Italian and pronounced ‘tseo’, was a very charismatic man with a big booming voice whom loved a good time. When Zio Tony passed away in 1971 his nephew, Lee Martinelli, Sr., took over management of the estate. The love of his family’s heritage land was too great for Lee to sell the property and in one short season he went from High School teacher to Apple Farmer. Eventually this apple orchard was converted to vineyards, as the market for apples grew unbearably soft. The vines are planted on rolling hills made up of Gold Ridge soil, with Clones consisting of 95, 76, and 548." -- Skurnik Wines