The story of Martellotto (which means big hammer in Italian) begins in Alberobello (interpreted as both the “pretty” or “warring” tree) in Puglia, Italy. My grandfather left the old country in 1918 to find a new, better life for himself and us. When my life is challenging, I try to remember how difficult it must have been for him to arrive with little education, money or wherewithal and to have successfully raised four children who all attended graduate school. Given that my nonno produced wine in his basement for the local Italian community in the Bronx during Prohibition, it’s possible that my destiny in wine is genetically encoded. This wasn’t my initial career trajectory; I have a degree in Biology from Stanford and a Masters degree in Public Health from the University of Texas. I intended to become a doctor. However, the allure and enticements of the vine were too strong to resist. There was no turning back once I set my mind to it, and against the advice of logical, rational mentors and friends, I ventured into winemaking, sales and distribution. In 2004, I worked harvests in Baja California, Mexico and Santa Barbara. My first mentors were Clay Brock at Zaca Mesa, Mike Sinor at Ancient Peaks, and Mike Roth at Demetria Estate, who continues to this day to consult on the production of my wines. Currently, I share a production warehouse in Buellton, CA with Lo-Fi wines and Barbieri Wine Co. I’m still tinkering with new ideas and production methods. In 2018, I am releasing several new Bordeaux varietal wines from Happy Canyon and a series of vermouths.
The intention behind this blog is to share with you my personal wine journey. It’s not easy to operate a small winery in a world dominated by Goliaths. I hope by relating our story, you’ll come to know not only our wines, but also the guide behind the wine. Increasingly, people are concerned about where and how their food is made. I will share much of that information about my wines here.
Now is probably a good time to insert a legal caveat: This website is to express opinions and musings only, and does not represent Martellotto Inc. The blog is not to be intended to provide any legal, medical, tax, employment, health, or any other type of advice. We reserve the right to change, edit, or amend any information published on this blog at any time and for any reason. This content on this website is protected by copyright and may not be copied or published without the express written consent of the owner.