The wine sells for $18 a bottle with a ten percent case discount.
|The photo on the label is of Maria Testa Martinson's Aunt Rose,|
now 95, who's lived to see the family vineyard and winery,
first started in 1912, restored to life by Maria.
(Nearby organic Barra has been in the winery business since the late 90s making popular varietals; bustling Graziano winery's Enotria brand [not organic] makes some Italian varietals not commonly grown in California including Arneis and Nebbiolo. But that's another story...)
But John Chiarito and Maria Testa Martinson represent a new generation of revivers - each with a passion for dry farmed, Italian heritage grapes.
|Testa's rose is made from head-pruned, dry farmed carignane on the 25 acre property|
(on the east side of 101 near the Calpella exit) (just south of Barra Vineyards.)
|Maria Testa Martinson, of Testa Vineyards, in the original cellar|
"My goal with the Black is to vary it year to year until we get just the right blend," she said. The most recent vintage - 2010 (her first legal crush) is made of 89% cabernet sauvignon, 8% carignane and 3% petite syrah.
Maria made some wine from Charbono grapes on the family property in 2004 for her aunt Rose's 90th birthday - and the response was positive. Seven years later, with the release of her first Rose, she's making her first wine made exclusively from the organically grown, old Italian varietals.
Hundreds of people stopped by over the weekend to try the wines and enjoy the old-timey atmosphere, music and great food at Testa during A Taste of Redwood Valley.
While other Italian vineyards (that still grow organically) dot the state - Madonna Estate in Carneros and Barra in Calpella come to mind - if you want to see Italian grandmothers serving up polenta, and eat BBQ, drink wine, and see the Italian heritage culture in action, there was no better place than Testa's weekend fest.
|Italian grandmothers dished it up at A Taste of Redwood Valley, with polenta, tomato sauce, and BBQ|
Featured here is Maria's great auntie Lee Testa, a second generation Testa
|A photo display of the family's winemaking heritage|
|Testa's Black wine harks back to the days when Italian red wine was called Black|
|Picturesque old farm equipment by the head pruned dry farmed vineyard|
|Chocolate - take your pick of brownies or truffles - and old timey music filled the barn|
|BBQ among the vines, Testa style|
You can tour Testa by appointment.
Testa Vineyards wines are available at local stores in the Ukiah area as well as online. They also offer a Testa White (which is not organically sourced) in addition to the organically grown Black and Rose.