Tune in October 8, 2 p.m. ET/11 a.m. PT as The Connected Table Live visits with Michael Martini, third generation winemaker at Louis M. Martini Winery, now 80 years strong.
We shared our first glass of wine with Mike and his lovely wife Jacque at the Food & Wine Classic several years ago. Then we shared a second…and third…of his singular Louis Martini Cabernet Sauvignon.
Mike grew up in his father’s and grandfather’s vineyards, learning firsthand what it takes to make world-class wines. When he wasn’t in school in (back then) rural St. Helena, he was working at the winery, in the vineyard, or out riding horses. As an adult he embarked on a formal study of viticulture that reads like the vintner’s “grand tour”- studying at U.C. Davis, exploring vineyards in Bordeaux and Burgundy with the late vintner-mentor Andre Tschelistcheff and, of course, working side by side with his father at the winery learning to develop his own personal style to bring balance and texture to his Cabernet Sauvignon blends.
Mike took the reins as winemaker at Louis M. Martini Winery in 1977, ushering in a new era in winemaking while honoring the winery’s roots and commitment to delivering big, unforgettable wines. Although Mike’s personal winemaking style continues to evolve, he will always aim to create wines that are balanced, complex and well-suited to accompany foods.
“Everyone talks about massive Cabernets, but the great thing about Cabernet is that its structure can show power and also elegance, grace, and finesse,” Mike said. “At Louis Martini, Cabernet Sauvignon is simply what we do.”
With the Gallo family’s acquisition of Louis Martini Winery in 2002, the Martini family continues its timeless wine making tradition while also experimenting with smaller production red wines under at its Cellar 254 artisan winery in St. Helena.
Mike shares his grandfather’s passion for the Napa Valley region and is a past president of the Napa Valley Vintners Association, an organization his grandfather helped establish. Mike is also a past president of the American Society of Enology and Viticulture, and of the Trellis Alliance at U.C. Davis.