The Santa Rosa Metro Chamber is pleased to announce that the Martinelli family, owners and operators of Martinelli Winery and Vineyards, will receive the Leadership in Agriculture award at this year's Agri-Business Barbecue on August 22.
The Martinelli family has been growing grapes and making wine in Sonoma County since 1889. Lee and Carolyn Martinelli started their own winery and tasting room in 1986, in the two red historic Hop Barns on River Road. They specialized in small, estate grown, single-vineyard lots of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Zinfandel, and Syrah.
All of the vineyards are meticulously farmed by Lee Martinelli Sr. and his two sons – Lee Jr. and George – continuing four generations of the proud family legacy of caretaking the land. Lee Sr. took over farming his uncle’s apple orchards, Zio Tony Bondi, after Tony passed away in 1970.
Mr. Martinelli was teaching at Santa Rosa High School at this time and had to make the decision to sell the Bondi estate and continue his teaching career or to take over the job of owning and farming the land full-time, which had been in his family for decades. Lee Sr. chose to finish out the school year and take over the business of farming apples. Since, he has converted most of this acreage to wine grapes, which was a more economical move to help preserve this farm land for future generations.
The Martinelli family legacy is one of stewardship and leadership – through hard work, adaptation and perseverance, they have been caretakers of the land that has sustained their family farming business for generations.
Join us in honoring the Martinelli family at the Agri-Business Barbecue on August 22. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit SantaRosaMetroChamber.com/AgBBQ.
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