Martaella Vineyard surrounds the
winery in the heart of the Russian River Valley AVA in an area
known as the Laguna de Santa Rosa. Benovia proprietors Joe
and Mary christened the vines in honor of their mothers, Martha and
Eleanor. The 58-acre property currently hosts 42 acres of Pinot
Noir (nine clones) and Chardonnay (four clones).
The Russian River Valley is
renowned for producing world-class Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
The climate is influenced primarily by the regular intrusion of
cooling fog from the Pacific Ocean a few miles to the west.
As the inland valleys warm in the summer, the fog will ebb
and flow through the Estero Gap and over the costal hills from the
Pacific Ocean. This fog will arrive in the evening and will
cool the Russian River Valley down by as much as 40 degrees.
The interplay between the cold marine air and the costal hills and
valleys creates many distinctive micro-climates within the
Martaella Vineyard began with the
purchase of an existing winery in 2005 and a producing vineyard
with 13.5 acres Pinot Noir. In 2008 Benovia acquired a 40
acre horse ranch, directly adjacent to the existing vineyard and
winery, expanding the total footprint to 58 acres of land.
After extensively evaluating the soils, and working with 2 soil
scientists, we decided to install a network of subsurface drains
prior to vineyard development. The subsurface drainage helps
to drain the soil of water in the spring allowing the vines to grow
more uniformly. This very extensive drainage project will also
encourage even ripening and improved wine quality.
We planted Martaella Vineyard with
a very high 'vine density'; between 2200 - 2722 vines per
acre. We plant vines close together and encourage each vine
to live in a very small footprint with little water and fertilizer
requirement per vine. Vines grown in this manner will yield
smaller berries and smaller clusters, and the fruit at harvest will
have better acidity and wines will have better balance.
The Martaella Vineyard is our most
ambitious vineyard development in regard to clonal diversity.
Planted to 9 different clones of Pinot Noir, we were looking to
give our winemaking team a diverse palate from which to craft our
blends. We chose many heirloom selections of Pinot Noir that
will provide spice and floral notes in addition to the classic
mixed berry fruit. We have also planted four selections of
Chardonnay including a suitcase selection from the famed Montrachet
vineyard in Burgundy.
This exceptional site produces
Pinot Noir and Chardonnay infused with classic Russian River Valley