The Lolita Ranch is located on Martinelli Road in Forestville. Giuseppe & Luisa had purchased the steep, forested landscape in the late 1800ís and then later sold this particular section to a neighbor. On this site, circa 1900, there once stood a small country schoolhouse where some of the Martinelli family attended at the turn of the century. Eventually the ranch was passed on to Bob and Lolita Young, who ran a herd of Angus and Hereford cattle on the land for many years. Third generation farmer, Lee Martinelli Jr., and his wife Pamela acquired the property in 1999, returning it back to the Martinelli estate and to the familyís continuing century-long legacy of viticulture.
Lee Jr. planted the steep hillside with four different grape varietals: Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah, and Zinfandel. The Syrah is planted with clone 877. The vines are trained on a vertical trellis system and are tightly spaced at 2,000 plants per acre. The small vineyard is lined by a thick border of huge pepperwood trees, redwoods, tan oak, black oak and the smooth red-barked manzanita. Since planting the grapes, cattle no longer grace the landscape on this wooded property, but a hoard of wildlife does, which accounts for scores of wild turkeys, foxes (el zorro in Spanish), deer, and many species of birds, especially herons and mergansers that live along the winding creek below.
| Wine Advocate 91 points (Mar 2016)
Producedfrom Dijon clones 667 and 777, the 2013 Pinot Noir Lolita Ranch emerges from ancient shale soils in the Russian River Valley. This full-bodied wine exhibits a deep ruby color and a big, sweet kiss of wet rocks, strawberry jam, black cherries and berry fruit. A touch of wood spice is also present. Thus multi-dimensional Pinot Noir should drink well for another 5-7 years.