MARTIN ESTATE encompasses roughly twelve acres. Eight of these acres were planted in 1996 with 17,000 vines. Seven acres of tightly spaced Cabernet Sauvignon, Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc surround the winery and, at the south end of the property, less than one acre of Merlot.
Split redwood stakes and non-galvanized wire were used as the trellising system to avoid the reflection of new metal, retaining the feel of a 19th century vineyard.
The soils of the property are Pleasanton Loam and Yolo Loam. Both of these are well drained soils on alluvial fans, allowing the roots of the vines to go deep into the ground in search of water, thus requiring no or little irrigation. The rootstocks chosen are especially well suited for the terrain. The Estate's vineyard is supervised by Viticulturist John Derr and Vineyard Manager Ernie Ilsley.
As the Estate's terroir changes within the vineyard from 100 percent loam in the eastern section to a more gravelly soil towards the west, an individualized drip irrigation system allows select watering according to the vines' needs.
Being located in the heart of the Rutherford appellation, the sun exposure of the vineyard has a higher radiant value than other parts of Napa Valley. This -- combined with cool evenings and the dusting of fog in the early mornings -- allows the fruit to ripen at a steady pace.
Come harvest time, the grapes are carefully hand picked in small lots and segregated according to clones and soils, as well as their specific maturity. As the vines are only a few feet away from the Estate Winery, it is possible to get the grapes within minutes after picking onto a sorting table, where de-stemmed whole berries are hand sorted to remove all inferior material.
MARTIN ESTATE Cabernet Sauvignon is limited to what the vineyard yields, and the wine's intensity mirrors its terroir.
Inside the stone chateau, the state-of-the-art winery features the most advanced custom made equipment available, unsurpassed by any other small producer in the Napa Valley: from French cement Nomblot tanks and LeJeune fermenters, to oak fermentation tanks by Radoux, and an Italian made basket press used for the gentle extraction of grape juice. All wines are aged in French oak barrels selected by Martin Estate's award winning winemaker Aaron Pott.
Aaron Pott's expertise and passion for creating world class wines makes him the perfect match for Martin Estate. Called "The Mouth behind some of Napa's Best Wines" by the Wall Street Journal, and named a "2012 Winemaker of the Year" by Food & Wine Magazine, Aaron Pott holds a degree of oenology from the University of California, Davis. He completed his education with a Master’s Degree in Viticulture from the Université de Bourgogne in Dijon, France, thereafter taking the position of assistant winemaker with his mentor John Kongsgaard. Aaron then became winemaker at Château Troplong Mondot in St. Emilion, and of Château La Tour Figeac. He worked for nearly six years in France before returning to the Napa Valley, where he had the pleasure to work with French winemakers Jean-Louis Mandrau, formerly of Château Latour and André Porcheret, whose résumé included the Hospice de Beaune, and Domaine Leroy.
|"Martin Estate excites me because it is the embodiment of what I love in wine. It is an Estate vineyard in one extraordinary location with a winery on site. It is a wine that is a pure expression of a unique terroir of rocky alluvial bench land. The idea is transparent: a seamless transition from land to vine to glass thus bringing to life an historic site for the pleasure of all. It is the best of the Old World blended with the best of the New World; it makes me feel good when I walk into the cellar. In the immortal words of James Brown, it has "Soul". We make beautiful wines, which will be adored not adorned."
Aaron Pott, Winemaker
92% Cabernet Sauvignon
2% Cab Franc
1% Petit Verdot
Aaron Pott shares the Martin Family's vision of making a terroir driven wine that is not a cookie-cutter Cabernet, but a reflection of the historic property where it was grown. In order to understand terroir, and let it shine through in a wine, one has to be able to sense and recognize it. This sensitivity is in danger of becoming extinct in a world of increasing mega wineries and formulaic wines, but is still embraced by the few that enjoy making and/or drinking a wine with personality. The sole proprietorship of Martin Estate, and the hands-on involvement of the Martin Family ensure that the Estate grown, produced and bottled wines showcase the first growth Puerta Dorada vineyard.