A young Louis M. Martini immigrates to San Francisco
At age 13, Louis emigrates from his native Genoa, Italy to the United States, where he joins his father, a fisherman, in San Francisco.
In San Francisco, Louis makes his first wine at home alongside his father, who wisely sends Louis back to Italy to hone his craft and study winemaking at the university in Alba, in Piedmont.
Louis returns to California, where he makes the first Martini wines at a rented winery in Pleasanton, about 40 miles inland from San Francisco.
In a resourceful move, Louis forms the L.M. Martini Grape Products Company, a Prohibition-era winery that produces sacramental and medicinal wine, as well as grape concentrate for legal home winemaking.
Louis puts down roots in the heart of the Napa Valley
As the end of Prohibition approaches, Louis builds his namesake Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena, California, in the Napa Valley. It is one of the original five Napa wineries founded in 1933 after Prohibition.
In keeping with Louis' tradition of innovation, the Louis M. Martini Winery pioneers the use of temperature-controlled fermentation.
Recognizing the potential of neighboring Sonoma's moderate coastal climate and varied soils, Louis purchases the Goldstein Ranch on the Sonoma side of the Mayacamas Mountains, naming it Monte Rosso for its spectacular, red volcanic soils.
Louis and his son Louis P. Martini establish a legacy of innovation
A pioneer in the region, Louis helps establish the Napa Valley Vintners Association to elevate the status of Napa Valley wines, and to give vintners a forum for exchanging ideas and collectively working to overcome industry obstacles.
Louis' son, Louis P. Martini, is among the first winegrowers to use wind machines to combat frost in the vineyards. In subsequent years, Louis P.'s vineyard studies of clonal selection and terroir, as well as his investigations of fermentations and the effects of aging on wine, become hallmarks for the industry.
Louis P. begins hand-selecting exceptional barrels that show especially pure Cabernet character, crafting his first luxury Cabernet wine from select lots in a practice that continues today. The following year, Louis P. takes over from his father as head winemaker for the Louis M. Martini Winery.
Third generation takes the reigns as support for education takes root
Third-generation winemaker Mike Martini steps into leadership of the winery, carrying on his family's renowned winemaking tradition.
Mike's father Louis P. is recognized by the American Society of Enology and Viticulture for progress and advancement of viticulture in an outstanding and distinguished manner.
The Louis P. Martini Endowment for Viticulture and Enology Research is established at the University of California, Davis.
New ownership marks new era, establishment of artisan winery
The Gallo family, close friends of the Martini family for three generations, purchases the winery and vineyards, marking a new era for the Louis M. Martini Winery.
In partnership with the Gallo family, Mike Martini founds Cellar 254, an artisan workshop dedicated to crafting renowned estate and smaller-lot Louis M. Martini wines.
Louis P. is inducted into the Vintner's Hall of Fame as a "Pioneer," recognized for his contributions as a visionary wine industry leader.
Our focus on improving vineyards such as the historic Monte Rosso-renowned for its high-elevation volcanic soils-allows us to crush outstanding Cabernet Sauvignon year after year.
Continued dedication to Cabernet Sauvignon and world-class vineyards
Critic Robert M. Parker, Jr. tweets that Martini's Sonoma Cab is among the best Cabernets in the world among its peers. Parker's tweet marks the culmination of 80+ years of Cabernet excellence and 135+ 90+ point scores received since 2000.
Mike Martini's signature Lot 1 Cabernet Sauvignon, crafted at Cellar 254, continues to gain critical acclaim, including a 94-96-point rating from the Wine Advocate for the 2013 vintage.
Ongoing investment in the winery brings improved availability of Louis M. Martini wines in bottle shops and fine restaurants. Sold nationwide, our wines are recognized as offering tremendous quality, flavor and consistency.
One of the oldest continually operating wineries in the Napa Valley, the Louis M. Martini Winery today is a popular destination, daily welcoming guests from around the world.
Our family has been crafting world-class Cabernet Sauvignon from Napa and Sonoma's finest vineyards since 1933. Our founder Louis M. Martini started with this simple premise: the best grapes make the best wines. Led by third-generation vintner Mike Martini, we proudly continue this tradition today, bottling each of our wines with this same commitment to excellence.