POSTED ON March 8, 2007 | IN Tasting Rooms | BY joe

The Louis M. Martini Winery is one of the oldest wineries in the Napa Valley. It was in 1933, that the legendary Louis M. Martini began operation of this winery. The Martini family ran the winery until 2002, when the Gallo family purchased the winery and vineyards.

Early in our wine tasting days, the Martini winery was one of our favorite places to visit in the Napa Valley. In the late 1960’s a case of Louis M. Martini Napa Valley Cabernet would run less than $30.

We dropped in on Louis M. Martini this week, our first visit to the winery since the takeover by Gallo. A new tasting room has been added along with a new focus. Formerly, the tasting was done in the winery’s barrel room. The tasting room atmosphere is now much more formal, with each seating area arranged with three glasses, a placemat, and tasting notes. The tasting consists of three different flights and the tasting fee is $10, $12, or $15 depending on the flight. We wonder what Louis M. Martini might think about this.

Louis Martini Winery

We were pleasantly surprised with our visit. Both hosts were very cordial and enthusiastic. We were greeted with a welcoming glass of Chardonnay, a very tasty and soft wine. We chose the white wine flight, which included a Pinot Grigio and Gewürztraminer, as well as another Chardonnay. We enjoyed both the Grigio and the Chardonnay. The Gewürztraminer was good but a little sweeter than we like.

Louis M. Martini Winery owns one of the most famous vineyards in the Napa Valley, the Monte Rosso Vineyard, located in the Mayacamus Mountains on the west side of the Valley. A bottle of Cabernet Sauvignon from this vineyard sells for $75.

Tours are available at 11 am and 2 pm and costs $30. The tour ends with a tasting that includes the famous Monte Rosso Cabernet.

The Good: Cordial hosts, very nice tasting room, picnic tables.
The Bad: A little too much on the chic side. We can’t afford the Monte Rosso Cabernet.

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