Russian River Valley
In the simplest of terms, this is our home base. Martin Ray Winery sits squarely in the geographic center of the appellation. Declared as its own AVA within Sonoma County, the Russian River Valley is defined by its cool marine influence, filtered in from the south by the Petaluma Gap. Even throughout the summer, a fog layer clings to the low lying valley regions late into the mornings, creating a temperature variation of nearly 35 degrees between the day and nighttime. Vintners in 1960’s and 70’s were quick to realize this valley’s potential for producing excellent cool-climate fruit, and planted the area with what are now some of the most highly acclaimed Pinot Noir and Chardonnay vineyards.
Martin Ray Estate Vineyard: Our own little plot of a mere 12 acres has been planted with 6 different clones, most notably Clone 37 (also known as the Mt. Eden clone), which Martin Ray brought from France in the 1940’s. Sitting just beyond the eastern border of Green Valley on a sloping hill of enviously impressive Goldridge soil, we have high expectations for our young vineyard.
Dempel Vineyard: Bob and Shirley Dempel have been pillars of the grape growing community since they began planting premium vineyards throughout Sonoma and Mendocino counties in 1977. Their respected reputation for quality and sustainability has made their Healdsburg Sauvignon Blanc ranches the cornerstone of our Russian River Valley Sauvignon Blanc.
Laguna Ranch: Only a few miles from our winery on Frei Road, our Laguna Ranch Sauvignon Blanc has become an integral part of our Russian River Sauvignon Blanc. The inherently cool climate makes it one of the last to ripen, often weeks after the rest of our Sauvignon Blanc, but the long season helps lock in the bold tropical flavors we love so much in our wine.
Foppiano Vineyards: The Foppiano name goes back almost as far as does the history of grape growing here in the Russian River Valley. Their home ranch, and the source of the grapes that make up the base of our Russian River Pinot Noir, lies very literally along the banks of the river itself. The hearty clones and variable soil deposited from the river makes for some very concentrated and complex fruit.