The vineyards of Martaella border Benovia Winery in the heart of
the Russian River Valley AVA, an area known as the Laguna de Santa
Benovia proprietors Joe and Mary christened the vines in honor
of their mothers, Martha and Eleanor.
Like most of the Russian River Valley, Martaella experiences heavy
maritime influences with frequent foggy mornings throughout the
growing season. Daytime temperatures rarely rise above 85° F, while
nights often dip into the low 50s.
The result of this temperate climate is wine of tremendous
concentration and balance. The 58-acre property currently hosts 31
acres of vines (designated for farming purposes as Martaella One,
Martaella Two, and Martaella Three) in various stages of
With the expertise of viticulturalist Daniel Roberts, Ph.D.,
Benovia carefully developed each new section of Martaella to assure
the vines would produce the highest quality fruit possible for many
years to come.
Martaella One · With the purchase of an existing winery in 2005,
Benovia inherited a producing vineyard with 13.5 acres of Pommard
clone Pinot Noir. Benovia introduced more clonal diversity by
replanting five acres of the original vineyard with Calera and
Dijon 828 clones of Pinot Noir planted very close together. This
was the winery's second experiment with high density planting using
four-foot by four-foot spacing, or about 2,700 vines per acre. This
exceptional site produces Pinot Noir infused with classic Russian
River Valley character - the perfect base for our Pinot Noir
Martaella Two · The acquisition of an old orchard and horse ranch
allowed Benovia to plant 18 acres just north of the winery in 2009.
The winery encouraged soil uniformity by installing a network of
subsoil drains in 2008. This very extensive drainage project will
encourage even ripening and improved wine quality.
Martaella Three · This remaining parcel of Martaella encompasses
the northernmost part of the acquired orchard and ranch property,
where we've installed the same drainage subsystem as Martaella Two.
In 2010 we planted a total of 10.5 acres at Martaella Three, with
six-and-a-half acres devoted to multiple clones of Pinot Noir, and
four acres to an heirloom clone of Chardonnay chosen for its low
yields and intense flavors. We're excited about the prospects of
this section, but of course we'll have to wait a few years before
its first harvest.