This year, we’re raising our glasses to the remarkable journey of a winery that has shaped the past and promises to influence the future of winemaking. A Napa Valley landmark, Louis M. Martini Winery has been thriving for an astonishing 90 years.
The Start of a Legacy
It all started when Louis M. Martini traveled from Genoa, Italy, to the United States to join his father in San Francisco, later making his first wine in 1906. Today, Louis M. Martini Winery has established a legacy that encapsulates the enduring commitment and passion of the winemakers, growers, and enthusiasts behind the winery’s longevity and success.
The world-class winery was established in 1933 by the namesake founder, Louis M. Martini, who anticipated Prohibition’s repeal in the U.S. With the repeal ratified in December of that year, Louis M. Martini Winery was one of the first in the country to open.
This tradition of innovation has continued throughout the winery’s remarkable lifetime; in 1936 it was one of the first wineries to use cold fermentation, a process that helps preserve a wine’s fruit characteristics, and among the first to bottle a varietal Merlot in California. It continued to invest in the winemaking possibilities in the area by purchasing the Goldstein Ranch in Sonoma in 1938, renaming it Monte Rosso Vineyard. Louis P. Martini, who inherited the responsibility of winemaker from his father in 1954, was later inducted into the Vintner’s Hall of Fame as a “Pioneer” in the wine industry.
Wines like Louis M. Martini’s Sauvignon Blanc are proof of the winery’s innovation and craft; the evidence is right there in the bottle. The Napa Valley Sauvignon Blanc, lively and versatile, has an inviting aroma of juicy guava, lemongrass, and cantaloupe, adding a layer of nuanced elegance. Bright tasting notes of Asian pear, kiwi, and jalapeño Margarita interplay with a mineral element of wet stone.
Another standout wine is the revered Monte Rosso Vineyard Cabernet Sauvignon, meticulously made from specifically chosen blocks within the historic Monte Rosso Vineyard, which boasts some of the oldest Cabernet Sauvignon grapes in California. This handcrafted Cabernet Sauvignon’s aroma is an intricate blend of toasted coconut and cedar, with decadent notes of black cherry, dark macerated berries, and long, silky tannins woven within the Monte Rosso spice of clove, cinnamon, and sage.
The 90th anniversary of the winery is a tribute to time itself, offering a historical glimpse into the winemaking techniques of the past and celebrating the accomplishments of Louis M. Martini Winery’s world-class winemaking, culinary, and hospitality teams. The impact of the winery’s legacy extends far beyond its own fields; as one of the founding members of the Napa Valley Vintners, Louis M. Martini helped shape and cultivate the region’s winemaking potential, and this dedication to the community continues today with comprehensive tastings, educational experiences, and elevated food programs hosted at the winery.
Celebrating 90 Years
As a nod to the past 90 years of robust and elegant wines, Louis M. Martini is offering an exclusive vertical selection of choice vintages. This 90th Anniversary Lot No. 1 Vertical Collection is a celebration of the standout blocks, showcasing the 2013, 2014, and 2018 Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignons.
You don’t nurture a winery for nearly a century without making exceptional wines. Louis M. Martini Winery has many, but there are those that epitomize its extraordinary craft. The Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon is a product of the winery’s efforts, years of experience and skill, and the peak of its portfolio.
Polished and elegant, the Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon is a flagship Napa Valley wine, full-bodied and balanced. It represents the varietal at its most refined, and in 2017, the 2013 Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon was awarded a perfect 100-point score by Robert Parker’s The Wine Advocate.
The Lot No. 1 highlights the depth and complexity of the Cabernet Sauvignon. Each wine in the vertical collection has its own strengths and variations, offering the narrative of their respective growing seasons through full-bodied and nuanced palates. The 2013 boasts aromas of dark chocolate and berry, leading into notes of blackberry and blueberry liquor. The 2014, the result of a dry and warm growing season, offers a blackberry jam and crème brûlée aroma and a palate of decadent cherry, black currant, and rich caramel. Lastly, the 2018 Lot No. 1 Cabernet Sauvignon’s wild blackberry and cocoa nose give way to a rich palate of shaved chocolate and reduced blackberry compote, topped off with a complex hint of cinnamon that exemplifies the fruit’s mountainside characteristics.
To gain access to this limited release of extraordinary wines, secure your place with the Crown Society membership, and enjoy plenty of other exclusive benefits, including member pricing on all merchandise, private tastings, guaranteed access to other limited-production wines, and more.
Looking Back at the Best
Over the course of its lifetime, Louis M. Martini has left an indelible mark on the Napa Valley community. The winery has woven itself into the history of Napa Valley, creating long-lasting relationships with other growers, including the Monte Rosso Vineyard with its unmistakable reds, Stagecoach Vineyard and its remarkable 600 acres of fruit, and sites like Howell Mountain and Cypress Vineyard. With this unwavering dedication, Louis M. Martini Winery continues to tell the stories of its history, the history of the land, and the people who shaped it.
These 90 years of history set the stage for innovations yet to come. With every bottle uncorked and sip savored, the legacy of Louis M. Martini Winery continues to live on — so here’s to a past, present, and future of enduring spirit. One hundred years is just around the corner.
To sign up for the Crown Society, click here.
This article is sponsored by Louis M. Martini Winery.