Is it not the season for weddings? Recently, my nephew had the most beautiful outdoor wedding, rustic barn theme. Handsome groom. Gorgeous bride. It brought a tear to the eye. Champaign and wine were a big part of the ceremonial event. Which, of course, we are always more than happy to provide (insert commercial here).

I got to thinking. I wonder if there were any love stories centered around wine. Could wine bring two people together?

I found a lovely story written by Courney Schiessl in Vinepair and wanted to share. I find it extra exciting when it is an area or a vineyard that we’ve actually visited. The story goes as follows:

‘It all started not in the U.S., but in Italy, where, in the late 1800’s, 19-year-old Giuseppe Martinelli fell in love with 16-year-old Luisa Vellutine. But when the Tuscan winemaker declared his intention to marry Luisa, his family decried the wedding, declaring that Luisa was an improper social class. Determined to be together, the young couple left behind their homes and families and eloped to California’s Russian River Valley. Here, Giuseppe worked in vineyards until he had saved up enough money to buy his own land that happened to include the famed Jackass Hill, which to this day is the core of Martinelli’s vineyards. Working side-by-side, both literally and metaphorically, Luisa and Giuseppe planted Zinfandel and Muscat of Alexandria vines, begging the Martinelli legacy. As Giuseppe sold grapes and wine in San Francisco (via horse and surrey!), Luisa pruned vines, cared for the children and even took to shooting wild turkey and quail, putting dinner on the table for the family upon Giuseppe’s return.’ I imagine such a hearty, capable, strong couple.

Fast forward to today, the Martinelli descendants are still producing well respected Zinfandels, Syrah, and Pinot Noirs, along with single-vineyard Chardonnays. From Giuseppe and Luisa’s lineage would also come Three Sisters Vineyard, another maker of great Chardonnays.

Theirs is really a very remarkable story. From determined love (and lots of hard work), did indeed come some fantastic wines.

So as the summer comes to an end and the wedding season fades into another winter, a toast to all those couples out there and their significant others. To the dedication. To the good times and the bad. To the hard work it takes sometimes to hang in there.

Happy wining and cheers to you all!