Andrew and Monica Martinez are the drivers behind the Martinez and Martinez Winery.
Martinez and Martinez Winery was launched in the summer of 2008 at the Winemaker’s Loft in Prosser, Washington, operating under an alternating proprietorship bond that allowed them to share tasting room space with Loft co-owner Mike Haddox.
But within seven months of opening, in early 2009, business plans of the fledging winery were turned sideways. A change of ownership at the Loft and Haddox’s departure seemed to jeopardize the winery’s future. Winery partner Monica Martinez said their bond was for a shared space. They didn’t have the capital needed to build their own facilities, so they began considering renting space elsewhere.
“Last summer, it was really sink or swim time,” Monica said. However, as they were considering their options, tasting room space at the Loft opened up, their bond was quickly transferred, and they moved in literally next door from their shared space.
They opened at 2 p.m. on a weekday in August, sold $1,500 of wine, and the next day, Monica delivered a healthy baby boy.
Andrew Martinez, Monica’s husband and winemaker for Martinez and Martinez Winery, said the Loft has been a good place to start. They share crush pad and tank room facilities with other start up wineries, but more importantly, they share synergy of the six wineries with tasting room space at the Loft and other established wineries in nearby Vintner’s Village.
“Now’s a really good time to be here,” Monica added.
“But we will come to a point where it will be cost effective for us to do this ourselves,” Andrew said.
Already, they’ve grown from 250 to 900 cases of wine in just a few years. They source a small amount of grapes from the family vineyard in Horse Heaven Hills, with most coming from Alder Ridge Vineyard, also in Horse Heaven Hills. Currently, they have Roussanne and Viognier wines for their white offerings, and Cabernet Sauvignon, Rosé of Cabernet, and a red blend for their red wines. Andrew is working with wine consultants Robert Smagsne and Greg Vogtritter. He has audited classes of Washington State University’s enology certificate program and plans to take more enology courses.
He’s been working on an estate Cabernet wine that would represent the best of the family vineyard. “I’m hoping that last year’s crop, the 2009 harvest, will be ‘the one’ that we can later release.”