Vineyard: Originally planted by Martha’s grandparents, Pasquale & Maria Bastoni in 1906, she and her husband, Russ Messana now cultivate 35 acres of vines. After a century of growing Zinfandel, Palomino, Petite Sirah, Alicante Bouschet and Carignane, the vineyard had to be replanted in 2005 when yields became too low to maintain. Her grandfather and father sold their fruit to a variety of wineries over the years including Italian Swiss Colony, Charles Krug and Geyser Peak. Currently planted with Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Alicante Bouschet, the Messana’s maintain a family tradition of farming and community in the Fountaingrove District AVA just east of Santa Rosa.
Vintage: The 2021 harvest year was near perfect for growing grapes and a second year of a lighter than normal crop. The berry size was smaller than average delivering exceptional flavors, intense color, beautiful grapes, fruit forward and ripe. The season started early and cold and it was void of long, lingering heatwaves leading to relatively early to normal harvest dates with most grapes ripening at the same time.
Winemaking: The fruit was handled in the gentlest way possible, hand sorted and fermented in small open top fermenters with minimum hand punch-downs per day. As usual the most effort was in extracting as much of the beautiful Zin aromas without the harsh tannins. The malolactic fermentation was done in barrels; aging was done in 20% new European oak barrels for about 17 months.