Chico’s Hill

Chico’s Hill

Varietals Planted


Soil information


Soil Characteristics

Clay Loam






3/4 Acre

Year Planted


Vineyard History

The Chico’s Hill vineyard is the smallest of all of the Martinelli estate vineyards. It has a great soil profile which consists of fractured rock. Fractured rock makes great growing conditions because the rock warms the earth by the early morning sun, stimulating vine growth. In addition, rain water penetrates the soil depth easily and is a very well drained ground. Chico’s Hill is an easterly facing slope with great sun exposure and good air flow. The landscape is long and narrow, approximately a 45 degree slope, and is actually shaped like a horse’s nose. Row direction is very important and will affect sunlight interception and grape quality. The rows are oriented in a north-south direction to equalize sunlight exposure on both sides of the canopy morning and afternoon. To prepare the site for planting, we used a winged tine, ripping the earth 24 inches deep to encourage root growth for the young plants. To reduce excessive disturbance to the site, the ripping follows the future vine rows exactly. The distance between the vines is one meter, equating to approximately 2000 vines per acre. For vine training we installed a vertical trellis system with fruit wire sitting 22 inches above ground level, encouraging consistent ripening of the grape clusters. This Syrah vineyard produces only 1 ½ tons of fruit per acre. The ridge runs north-south, facing the same direction as our Jackass Hill Zinfandel vineyard, but at a slightly lower elevation. The two vineyards are only 150 yards, as well as 100 years age, apart from each other and enjoy the same soil type.