Every dream starts with the first step, along with passion and dedication to keep going. At Martin Ranch Winery you will find a unique passion for winemaking, a passion for the grapes, the soil and the land, & a passion for making every one of our Thérèse Vineyards, J.D.Hurley and Soulmate wines a unique experience.
"Our dream of owning a winery began with a shared passion for great wine, a wonderful growing environment, and the joy of sharing the experience with friends and family. In 1993, after years of enjoying tasting and buying wine, we decided to experience the winemaking process for ourselves. As it turns out, our 17 acres in the southern tip of the Santa Cruz Mountains provided the perfect microclimate for growing Cabernet Sauvignon — warm days and cool nights. And so, we began the planting process..."
Both Thérèse & Dan Martin were born and raised in the Santa Cruz Mountains area. Thérèse spent her early years as a triathlete marathon runner and horseback rider, in between her commitments at the local retail shop. Her family roots come from the agricultural area of Corralitos, California. For many years, Thérèse along with her husband Dan, owned and operated several landmark neighborhood markets. Dan is an avid motorcycle rider, traveler and sailing enthusiast. Dan's family roots come from the Carmel Valley, where the first Martin Ranch was established in the early 1900's. Presently, Dan and Thérèse have owned and worked their property for over 30 years.
They began the simple idea of growing grapes on their property... Together, they worked and nourished the soil, terraced the hills and began the first vine plantings. The very first vintage started in 1997 and their output has grown with dedication and passion ever since. In 2002, Thérèse and Dan had their first commercial crush of 625 cases. In 2003, they decided it was time to build a small winery building and increased production to 2000 cases per year. By 2004, they had increased production to 3500 cases, out growing their "little winery." In 2005, they expanded and built the present winery building and invited folks into their first wine club. While the operation has grown, the passion, dedication and hands-on community feel has remained unchanged. Now in 2016, the winery produces many award-winning red and white varieties, the family of wine club members have grown, while the Martin Ranch Winery culture has become legendary.
Family roots and tradition are very important to Thérèse and Dan. "Sharing vegetables from our garden, gourmet food from our kitchen, and our award winning wine with friends and family, is a wonderful way for us to celebrate during the long days of harvest and winemaking."
Passion for life and the art of winemaking are their inspiration. "Our love of life, sharing great wines and food with family and friends, are what make the Martin Ranch Winery so special."
Excellence is the foundation for everything Therese and Dan create. "Every year we produce award winning wines, and are blessed to share with you the rewards of our Tradition-Passion-Excellence."
Think Green, Drink Red
Energy and technology play a very important role at the Martin Ranch Winery. The onsite team at the winery catalogue important data from the winery operations using energy-efficient portable computers. Photographs, labeling and design creativity is all designed on Apple computers latest energy-efficient hardware.
The winery building was designed by Dan Martin using energy saving techniques from the ground up. Careful insulation methods, thicker walls, and a passive ventilation system, help to keep the energy use down to a minimum while the cooling inside to a maximum. Using approved energy saving lighting inside the winery building and outside on the crush pad, Dan believes he is saving over 30% in electrical use. Plans for solar hot water systems are designed and ready to be put in place.
At the Ranch and Winery the Martins recycle all they can and encourage wine club members and their business partners to do the same. A barrel recycling program is in place with local artisans utilizing the used wine barrels for various artistic creations. A partnership with ReCORK America to become a public collection location for corks has been established at the Winery. Dan Martin is currently spearheading a glass recycling program to collect wine bottles from wine club members and other local wineries. The proceeds go to fund local charities like Community Solutions. The ship to packaging has been streamlined and they have incorporating eco-friendly Kraft boxes which reduce the use of chemicals and require less energy for the boxes production process. The Martin Ranch Winery use all organic bio-degradable plate-ware for events held at the winery.
Naturally produced compost from local farms and plant matter from the winery, is used to fertilize the vineyards and garden area. An historic man made pond located on the Ranch stores water during the winter months and provides 90% of the watering for the vineyards. Working with nature and the seasonal cycles, the Martins, as well as winery visitors and guests, enjoy the beauty of the vineyards and the lush year round garden, which produces some of the finest wine varietals and vegetables in the Santa Cruz Mountains. Martin Ranch Winery is a certified wildlife habitat and proud to be in the National Wildlife Federation's registry.