A really terrific article, as linked in WineTerriorist, by KelliWhite on the history of MartiniWnry:
including a lot about the MonteRossoVnyd.
It recounts how LouisPMartini went directly from EllisIsland, fleeing the poverty of SouthernItaly (where was the Wall when we needed it?) to SanFrancisco on a train, starting out with two loaves of bread and a package of Bologna, to join his Father in the fish biz. And his entry into the wine biz, the transition from LouisP to LouisM in 1956, then to MikeMartini in the late '70, then the purchase by Gallo in 2002.
I, of course, have stories:

I actually met, briefly, LouisM back in the early '70's. I had stopped at Martini to buy a btl of their Moscato. As I was tasting at the bar, he walked in to get something at the tasting room, and then proceeded to work his way down the bar, and a dozen or so people, introducing himself and asked then what they were trying and what they thought of it. When he got to me, I recounted how I had come for the Moscato, and how I liked the (MonteRosso) Barbera I was trying. He immediately ordered the staff to open a btl of the Moscato (which they apparently didn't normally pour) and shared a glass with me, recounting how it was one of his favorite wines. Then off back into the wnry. Never got a chance to meet MikeMartini, though.

They only made a small amount of the Moscato and only sold it in a small window of the year, early Winter I believe. It was slightly fizzy, fairly sweet, and absolutely delicious Muscat.

PaulDraper recalls how, in the early '70's, before the PotLuck restaurant closed, HankRubin (another of my heroes) gathered a bunch of wine folks together at PotLuck and they tasted thru a bunch of the old Martini wines, going back into the '30's. Paul recounted how the wines seemed all do youthful and attributed it to the fact that LouisM would pasteurize his wines to keep them shelf-stable in the hot wine stores in Modesto. It also the reason the older Martinis didn't develop as much complexity as some wines...they went into the btl in sort of a suspended animation. I've had, way back when, some of those old Martini Zins & Barberas from the '50's & '60's that seemed so fresh & alive and belied their age.

Anyway, a very good article by Kelli and well worth reading, no matter how much you may hate Gallo for what they've done to the great Martini name (which I don't think is that bad, in fact).

Edited by TomHill (07-31-2019 08:09:20)