Chardonnay, ‘Zio Tony’, Martinelli
The Zio Tony Ranch is named after Lee Sr.’s uncle Tony who was the first in the Bondi family to be born on American soil. Zio Tony, Zio meaning ‘uncle’ in Italian and pronounced ‘tseo’, was a very charismatic man with a big booming voice whom loved a good time. When Zio Tony passed away in 1971 his nephew, Lee Martinelli, Sr., took over management of the estate. The love of his family’s heritage land was too great for Lee to sell the property and in one short season he went from High School teacher to Apple Farmer. Eventually this apple orchard was converted to vineyards, as the market for apples grew unbearably soft. The vines are planted on rolling hills made up of Gold Ridge soil, with Clones consisting of 95, 76, and 548.
Although 2016 received just below average rainfall, it was still considered the last year of our 5-year drought. However, this adequate amount of rain at the appropriate time led to favorable conditions for bloom, which resulted in an even fruit-set and good vine balance. Summer temperatures were cooler, which allowed the fruit to ripen slowly and develop deeper flavors. The weather held steady through harvest allowing us to pick the fruit at optimum maturity levels, resulting in wines full of finesse and intensity.
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