In 1981 Sergio Martinez and his wife Kristy planted a small vineyard located on the Horse Heaven Hills American Viticulture Area (AVA) in a distinct area called Phinny Hill. Phinny Hill is known in the wine industry to have exceptionally unique geological and geographical characteristics that have contributed to some of the best wines in Washington. The vineyard was planted on an Eastern facing slope with Cabernet Sauvignon vines.
These vines are the direct descendants of the vines from the very first Horse Heaven Hills Vineyard (on Phinny Hill) planted by Don and Linda Mercer, with advice and direction of Walter Clore; the Washington State University researcher whose work was instrumental in starting the Washington Wine Industry. His original vineyard, now owned by Paul and Judy Champoux has become well known for producing world-renowned wines. It had been a dream of the Martinez family to one day produce wine from their own extremely special grapes.
2008 marked the release of their first two vintages from the 2005 grape harvest. Together Sergio, Kristy, Andrew and Monica Martinez own and operate the small winery located at The Winemakers Loft in Prosser, Washington. You can always find at least one of them in the tasting room, usually Kristy (aka MaMa Martinez) telling family stories. Andrew is dedicated to ensuring that the grapes he receives from Sergio get the attention they need to create the best wine possible and Monica is the managing partner for the family run business.
Martinez & Martinez Winery is dedicated to the production of high quality wine from high quality grapes, focusing on Cabernet Sauvignon from the Horse Heaven Hills. Currently the winery uses two vineyards from the AVA. The Martinez Vineyard Estate described above and Alder Ridge Vineyard located just a few miles from their estate location on an extremely steep Southern facing slope, overlooking the Columbia River. The river has a magnificent effect on this vineyard by moderating the extreme summer and winter temperatures. This vineyard produces great fruit and is of superior quality due to its unique growing area.
Sergio has worked in the fields since his family moved from Mexico to California when he was just a boy. It was there in California that he was first introduced to vinifera and dreamed of being a vineyard owner. Martinez Vineyard may be the first Hispanic owned vineyard in Washington State and Martinez & Martinez Winery is only the second Hispanic owned winery is the state. Sergio ensure’s that all of the grapes used at Martinez & Martinez winery have the best possible care as he tends to both Martinez and Alder Ridge Vineyards.