Marietta Cellars

Sonoma & Mendocino, California

Starting with only a handful of purchased grapes in 1978, Marietta Cellars has been a standout winery in Sonoma and Mendocino since the very beginning. Founded by Chris Bilbro, a Sonoma County native with winemaking roots dating back three generations, Marietta rose to prominence with its revolutionary Old Vine Red, a California red blend that essentially created the category. The winery has slowly expanded its estate holdings over the past thirty years, evolving into a beacon for high quality, balanced Cabernet Sauvignon, Zinfandel, and Rhône variety blends. Now fully estate-based and organically farmed, Marietta has vineyards spanning 310 acres in the Alexander Valley, McDowell Valley, and Yorkville Highlands. Notable among their heritage plantings are California’s oldest Syrah blocks, planted in the late 1800s.

Scot Bilbro, Chris’s son, has brought Marietta into its next, incredibly exciting phase. After graduating from UC Davis with a degree in Viticulture and Enology in 2007, Scot joined the winery full-time, assuming the role of winemaker in 2012. Steeped in the history of the California wine country and the traditions established by his father, Scot combines his creativity and technical background in guiding the winery’s vision of viticulture and winemaking. Today, the fusion of traditional values and style with modern precision have culminated in the most highly regarded wines of Marietta’s four decade history.

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Wines

Old Vine Red

California, United States

Affectionately known as "OVR," Marietta's Old Vine Red is a proprietary red wine made to replicate the field blends of the old vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino counties. A groundbreaking combination of grape varitieis and multiple vintages first produced in 1982, this wine has blazed the path for red blends for decades. With an historic underground following, it is one of the longest lasting and best known red blends produced today. Predominantly comprised of Zinfandel, Old Vine Red combines pure fruit, a supple mouth feel and a rich, solid structure.

Old Vine Rosé

California, United States

Marietta's Old Vine Rosé is a perfect extension of the Old Vine series. Made in a Provençale, direct-press style from some of the oldest Syrah and Grenache vines in California, it is fresh, nuanced, and perfectly balanced to enjoy with food or on its own. As always with the "OVR" wines, it delivers a lot more substance and pleasure than you could expect.

Old Vine Riesling

California, United States

Marietta's Old Vine Riesling is the most recent and unique extension of the Old Vine series (or "OVR"). Originally intended as a gift for Scot's partner, Lisa, who is German, the bone dry style of Riesling became a fan favorite and permanent addition. While it is the only wine is the lineup that is not estate grown, it comes from some of California's oldest Riesling vines and offers an extraordinary value and delightful drinking experience.

Román Zinfandel

North Coast, California

Named after cellarmaster Román Cisneros who has worked at Marietta for over 32 years, this Estate Zinfandel is from the Angeli estate vineyard in Alexander Valley and the McDowell Valley estate vineyard. One of the grape varieties that Marietta is famous for, this wine captures the bright, juicy character of Zinfandel, and hearkens to an era before dark, thick and oaky styles of Zinfandel took hold.

Armé Cabernet Sauvignon

North Coast, California

Named after Armé, the husband of Marietta and great-great uncle of Owner/Winemaker Scot Bilbro, this Cabernet Sauvignon conveys a taut freshness and aromatic purity. Stylistically balanced between modern California and Old World, this wine is dense with fresh, dark fruit and tempered with a savory, earthy character. The dry fly on the label is a reference to Chris Bilbro's long family history of fishing with his great uncle Armé along the waterways that now adjoin the three estate vineyards.

Christo Red Blend

North Coast, California

Named and styled after Chris Bilbro, affectionately called "Christo" by his great-aunt Marietta, this Rhone varietal blend is gentle but powerful, pleasurable but deep, and refined while raw. An ode to Scot's father and founder of Marietta Cellars, this blend is largely Syrah from the McDowell estate, blended with Petite Sirah from the Angeli Estate and Grenache from the Yorkville Highlands Estate. The pig snout on the label is a reminder of how Chris Bilbro made wild boar sausage and carted his creations around the country to share with chefs and wine lovers alike as he sold Marietta wines.

Angeli Zinfandel

Alexander Valley, California

Marietta Cellars sits at the entrance to a small canyon off Alexander Valley. Known as Angeli Ranch after the family who originally settled there in 1886, the property’s vineyards connect gravel swales from the Russian River to terraced knolls invisible from the valley floor. The extremes of this site create a wine that is powerful but has surprising elegance and clarity.

Game Trail Cabernet Sauvignon

Yorkville Highlands, California

From a high elevation site in the Yorkville Highlands with coastal influence and large diurnal shifts, the Game Trail Cabernet offers an intense, fragrant, savory, and fresh style of Cabernet that speaks of site and demands to be paired with food. This area, with trails worn by mushroom hunters and wild game that travel through the woods, was a refuge for Chris Bilbro, who hunted here and searched for Chanterelles. The mushroom on the label is a tribute to this unique place and its significance.

Gibson Block Syrah

McDowell Valley, California

Made from the oldest Syrah vines in California, in the heart of the McDowell Valley AVA, this wine reflects the hidden property where it is grown - quiet, obscure and profound. This ancient, dry farmed, mixed block next to the original Gibson Homestead has been producing grapes for over a hundred years. Limited in production due to the unique grape source, this wine is built to enjoy with food.

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Reviews

    Marietta Cellars Angeli Zinfandel 2017 (94 VM)

    Vinous Media - "The 2017 Zinfandel Angeli, from a site in Alexander Valley, is rich, pliant and expressive. Super-ripe black cherry, hard candy, new leather, lavender and mint give the Angeli decidedly dark shades of expression. This sumptuous, flavorful Zinfandel should drink well for another decade or so."   

    Marietta Cellars Armé Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (91-93 VM)

    Vinous Media (91-93) - "The 2017 Armé is another gorgeous wine in this range from Marietta. Inky dark blue and purplish fruit, lavender, menthol and spice all grace this sumptuous racy and inky wine with great balance. The 2017 is a super value in California Cabernet Sauvignon. Wow."   

    Marietta Cellars Christo Red Blend 2017 (90-93 VM)

    Vinous Media (90-93) - "The 2017 Christo, Marietta's Syrah/Grenache-based red, is another compelling wine in this range. Inky red/purplish berry fruit, rose petal, mint, spice and floral notes are front and center. Sumptuous and racy, the 2017 is so inviting from the very first taste."  

    Marietta Cellars Game Trail Cabernet Sauvignon 2017 (90-93 VM)

    Vinous Media (90-93) - "The 2017 Cabernet Sauvignon Game Trail is decidedly aromatic and peppery in its flavor profile, much of that a reflection of the personality of this site planted at 1400 feet. Hints of spice, licorice and chocolate add complexity to the dark-toned flavors, but the wine's overall feel leans towards the more savory side of Cabernet."   

    Marietta Cellars Gibson Block Syrah 2017(92-95 VM)

    Vinous Media (92-95) - "The 2017 Syrah Estate Gibson Block is a total knockout. Inky, rich and voluptuous in the glass, the 2017 possesses off-the-charts fruit intensity. Even with all of its density, the 2017 retains a terrific backbone of acidity and graphite-infused minerality that gives the wine unreal brightness. The 2017 is such a distinctive wine."   

    Marietta Cellars Román Zinfandel 2018 (90-92 VM)

    Vinous Media (90-92) - "The 2018 Román is bright, punchy and full of Zinfandel character. Dark red and purplish fruit, spice and mint all race out of the glass effortlessly. Dollops of Petite Sirah and Barbera bring added complexity to the field blend. The 2018 is one of the best wines readers will find for the money. Quite simply, it is a screaming value."   

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Scot Bilbro

Scot Bilbro learned to make wine by watching his father do magic. Not card tricks or sleight of hand; instead, Christo would transform cardboard wine boxes into suits of armor, or make up stories about rusted out cars in the river and turn them into the broken down steeds of long-gone errant knights. Everything was transformed and became something rare and special. Creativity and possibility reigned supreme.

Scot is now the second generation Winemaker and Owner of Marietta Cellars. Applying his Viticulture and Enology training from UC Davis he keeps yeast happy, manages oxygen’s interaction with the wine, and dials in the temperature range of a fermentation…but the real magic happens in the quiet moments. Hiking the vineyard rows as the fog burns off; checking grapes in the sweltering sun; in the cellar at the end of the night during harvest checking tank temperatures with the palm of his hand.

He continues to lead a team that performs magic by transforming hard work, attention to detail, a blessed climate, and exceptional land into beautiful, modern wines.

Trade Materials

Videos

    Introducing Marietta Cellars

    July 17, 2020 - https://vimeo.com/427456439 Since 1978, Marietta Cellars has led a revolution in quality-driven non-vintage blends from some of the oldest existing plantings in California. This week, VINTUS is proud to introduce Marietta…