Green Valley Sonoma County, CA, became a federally recognized AVA in 1983. It is the coolest part of the Russian River Valley, and is defined by the fog. There are over 100 growers in the appellation, farming a total of 19,000 acres. The area is renowned for producing exceptional cool climate wines.
This was our destination last week when I, along with 20 other very excited industry professionals, boarded a limobus for a day of exploration and fun. The event was sponsored and planned by our dear friends at CANVAS (Concierge Alliance of Napa Valley and Sonoma), and oh, what a job they did!
Our first stop was Martinelli Winery & Vineyards, at the “gateway to the Russian River”, where, for the last 130 years, the Martinelli family has farmed the same vineyards. In fact, until the 1950’s, the land was turned over by the use of a horse and plow. Regina Martinelli, the current top dog, is hilariously funny and down to earth. She is the great granddaughter of founder, Giuseppi, and gave us the grand tour. The Big Red Barn is old and funky ( & I mean that in the most positive way), and even smells historic.
We took a stroll out into the vineyards and were given a lesson in grape growing by Regina’s brother, George. We finished our visit with a wonderful selection of local, artisan cheeses paired with Martinelli wines. There was Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay, along with several other “cool climate wines.” It was no mystery to us why Robert Parker gave their 2011 Zinfandel 94 points…it was the very first “cool weather” Zin ever made.
This family, for 5 generations, has farmed their land kindly, gently, and sustainably. And that has made all the difference.
Napa Valley Wine Country Tours’ chauffeurs are extremely knowledgeable about Green Valley & its wineries. Call us for a limo ride to that part of paradise. 707-226-3333.
To be continued.