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 appellation.
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 character.