Winery from California's Coastal Range

30/06/2018 Berryessa Gap’s connection to the land runs deep with farming roots from both Spanish and German ancestry in historic Winters, CA in Yolo County

Dan Martinez, Sr., a first generation farmer of Spanish immigrants, planted apricots, almonds, prunes and walnuts in Winters. Dan Sr. partnered with San Francisco winemaker and wine historian Ernest Peninou in 1969 to develop a grapevine rootstock nursery business, Yolo Hills Viticulture Society, supplying UC Davis-sourced grapevine rootstock to what would become renowned Napa and Sonoma Valley vineyards and beyond.

For thirty years, Martinez Orchards continued to sell rootstock cultivated in Winters to vineyards in neighboring counties, and in 2000, Dan Martinez Jr. and collaborative business and farming partner Santiago Moreno purchased the Coble Ranch at the crest of rolling hills overlooking Berryessa Gap - a local visual landmark seen for miles around – and planted this never before cultivated land to vineyards. The Coble Ranch is the estate vineyard from which Berryessa Gap’s grapes are sourced. Martinez Orchards continues to grow and sell grapevine rootstock throughout California today.

The site of Berryessa Gap Vineyards commands this view, overlooking literally a gap between the hills, east of Lake Berryessa. Here stands a very large and stately oak tree, thought to be around 300 years old. Surrounding this fine oak tree are the rolling vineyards which produce distinctive wines of the region, planted with rootstock is grown only by Martinez Orchards.

Steeped in family agricultural history in Winters, their winery operations began on Main Street in 2002 as they repurposed the old Winters Winery facility, and is now the location of their expanded wine tasting room. Mike Anderson, Ernest Peninou’s great-nephew, became their winemaker, continuing the legacy and bringing regional terroir into focus and helping to launch their business.

In 2005, they expanded and relocated their winemaking production to the historic Tufts Ranch fruit packing warehouse, minutes from downtown Winters. They invite guests to visit their second wine tasting room there, as a memorable stop on wine country backroad Highway 128 travelling to or from nearby Napa Valley.

Both wine tasting locations showcase their family farming and viticulture heritage with roots in Northern California wine country brought to each glass - from rootstock to bottle.

In 2013, Berryessa Gap hired winemaker Nicole Salengo to bring her local winemaking expertise to the market with fine new wine offerings. Nicole is passionate about the uniqueness and potential of Winters terroir - her winemaking style has already garnered many accolades in domestic and international wine competitions.

The wines are made from grapes grown locally at their Berryessa Gap Vineyards.  These grapes come from their own rootstock which has been a staple of their owner’s business since 1969.  They are extremely proud of their wine country heritage and of the award-winning wines, they produce here.

2017 Verdejo, 2017 Chardonnay, 2015 Durif, 2015 Petit Sirah, 2015 Malbec, 2015 Tempranillo, 2017 Sauvignon Blanc and 2014 Coble Ranch are Berryessa’s finest creations.