Martinelli Winery family buys Sonoma Coast vineyards

Martinelli Winery and Vineyards, a fifth-generation Sonoma County farming family, has acquired 465 acres in the Sonoma Coast property called Charles Ranch, including Three Sisters Vineyard and Charles Ranch Vineyard.

The acreage, which includes 27 acres of planted vines, was purchased by Carolyn Charles Martinelli and her husband, Lee Martinelli Sr., from her sister, according to the Thursday announcement. The sale was completed in June. Price and other terms weren't disclosed.

'This is our stake in the ground. Literally,' says Regina Martinelli, daughter of Carolyn and Lee Sr. 'We're protecting our family's legacy and commitment to the farming lifestyle and wine industry as a whole.'

Located two ridges in from the Pacific Ocean, due east of Fort Ross Historic Park, the Charles Ranch property was first homesteaded by Carolyn Martinelli's great-grandparents in the 1860s. George Charles, Carolyn's father, was a fourth-generation rancher in the vast rugged hills, and in 1981 he became the second person to plant grapes in the remote coastal region.

The Martinellis own 19 vineyard sites planted to 450 acres in four AVAs, all wholly within Sonoma County. Their wines are 100 percent estate-grown and -bottled, and the winery and vineyards are recognized as a Certified California Sustainable.

The Martinelli portfolio includes Jackass Hill zinfandel and Charles Ranch Vineyard chardonnay wines. Most of the winery's grapes from these two vineyards are sold to other wineries, the company stated, including Ramey Wine Cellars, Benovia Winery, Patz & Hall Winery, Kosta Browne and Williams Selyem.

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