MARTHA STOUMEN WINES, Northern California
One-woman winemaking and grape growing project based in Northern California. Martha seeks to express wines that represent her land with purity and precision. She has chosen to work with sun-loving grapes: either those historic to California Viticulture, or those that flourish and maintain elegance in California’s warmth, such as Carignan, Zinfandel, and Nero d’Avola, whilst utilising natural, traditional winemaking practices she learned while apprenticing in Italy and Southern France (Didier Barral). And most importantly, to truly respect her Californian roots, she ensures hervineyards are farmed in such a way that healthy ecosystems are created and maintained.
‘For my wines I lease and farm around half of the vineyards myself. The other half are farmed by multi-generation farmers who understand their land, and their family’s land, far better than I ever will, and who farm with my same philosophies in mind. Patience in the vineyard means composting rather than adding synthetic fertilizers, allowing predatory insects the ability to outcompete pests rather than spraying insecticides, and doing proper handwork, such as pruning for vine longevity rather than high yields.
In the cellar I use a minimalist winemaking approach. Patience in the cellar means letting the natural yeast and bacteria present on the grape skins perform fermentation, and allowing longer macerations and aging to provide stability rather than using added tannin, acid, or stabilizing agents in my wines. Above all, I strive to make wines that are delicious, joyful, and truly representative of California.’ Martha
Post Flirtation is a zippy, glou glou (french wine slang for gulpable) version of a traditional California red blend: At only 11.3% alcohol this wine showcases all of the raspberry, hibiscus, and rhubarb zing that these two grapes can exhibit when picked on the fresher side. Composed of Carignan (65%), planted in 1948. Head-trained vines, dry-farmed from a Mediterranean climate in Venturi Vineyard, Mendocino County AVA grown on sandstone/quartz. Whole cluster, foot stomped fermentation and aged in neutral oak for 6 months. The remainder is Zinfandel (35%). Planted in the 60s, these head-trained, dry farmed vines are the youngest in the historic Del Barba vineyard in Contra Costa County. Grown in pure sand. Imagine walking on the beach—that’s what the soil is like in this vineyard. Destemmed and aged in stainless steel for 6 months to preserve freshness.