Viticulture briefs: Martini Winery in St. Helena returning to Prohibition look

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Martini Winery returning to Prohibition design

The Louis M. Martini Winery in St. Helena is undergoing a renovation that will restore the 85-year-old building closer to its original design coming out of Prohibition.

Howard Backen of Backen, Gillam & Kroeger Architects will lead the project scheduled to be completed by March 2019.

“Howard Backen’s vision celebrates the historic 1933 winery building and seeks to preserve its unique structural elements,” said Matt Gallo, vice president of coastal operations for E. & J. Gallo Winery, which bought Martini in 2002.

Martini was a key buy for Gallo’s drive into the premium wine category.

Backen intends to remove nonhistoric additions to the winery and bring back reclaimed materials, such as its original terracotta wall tiles.

During construction, customers will be able to access the winery’s Monte Rosso tasting room, located on the south side of the winery.

Fetzer Vineyards receives environmental citation

Fetzer Vineyards of Hopland was recognized for its environmental commitment.

Last week Fetzer was listed on the B Corporations changemakers list, which recognizes top businesses that strive to deliver social and environmental benefits along with profits.

The award was announced by B Lab, the nonprofit that certifies B Corporations.

The winery obtained its B Corporation certification in 2015 after meeting environmental standards for its operations, as well as receiving high marks for how it treats its workers, its relationship with the local community and its business governance structure.

“We have a strong foundation of environmental focus dating to the last century, and today we are expanding on that to increase our overall positive impact as a company,” Cindy DeVries, chief operating officer of Fetzer, said in a statement.

Industry magazine fetes local wine executives

Wine Enthusiast magazine cited a few local wine executives as nominees for its Wine Star Awards to be announced in December.

Corey Beck, CEO of The Family Coppola and a member of the Sonoma County Vintners board of directors, is a finalist for the wine industry executive of the year award.

Caroline Shaw, executive vice president at Jackson Family Wines in Santa Rosa, has been nominated for the same award. Shaw also serves as president of the Sonoma County Vintners Foundation, the trade group’s charity arm.

In another category, Terry Wheatley, president of Vintage Wine Estates in Santa Rosa, is a finalist for the innovator of the year award.

Sonoma County also is a finalist for the wine region of the year, the only region from the United States on this year’s list.

Compiled by Bill Swindell. Submit items to

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