Marietta Cellars is more than a winery producing unique blends. We are a family with all the love, pride, history and struggle that goes along with it. Chris Bilbro spent much of his childhood with his Great-Aunt Marietta. At her table he learned simple good cooking, hard work and honesty. In 1978 Chris gathered these tenets and his guts and began making wine in a rented cow barn. Over the next three decades, Chris produced, bottled, and sold his wine across the country usually accompanied by homemade sausage or minestrone soup from Marietta’s recipes. Today, his sons Jake and Scot run the company and continue to do what Marietta Cellars has always done best. They focus on producing great wine, make sure they offer it at a fair price, and care for the people who work alongside them - just like their father did.

 


Our wines are consistent, concentrated, complex and most importantly, satisfying. We hold true to using exceptional fruit from our estate vineyards in Sonoma and Mendocino Counties to create distinctive blends found only in the Marietta Cellars portfolio. Following our father’s example, our goal is to create something no other winery does by trusting our instincts and bucking the standard wisdom of single source and only single varietal wines.

 

Old Vine Red
Old Vine Red is our modern California version of an Old World table wine - one that can be enjoyed with food or without, for a special occasion or for simple pleasure. It is a non-vintage blend of mostly Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, and Carignane with small amounts of other varieties included for complexity. Old Vine Red is a delicious, well-made, textured and balanced wine that continues to be amazingly consistent 30 years after the first lot was released.

Technical sheet

 

Zinfandel
The 2011 vintage is a pure expression of Sonoma County. We blend largely from our Alexander Valley Ranch with fruit from the Dry Creek and Russian River Appellations to provide a Zinfandel with great fruit, balance and structure. Hints of cherry, cedar and raspberry are prominent with a touch of minerality afterward adding to the complexity. The mouth-feel is full and lush, but not heavy. This is a layered wine, with structured tannins and balanced acidity.

Technical sheet

 

Cabernet Sauvignon
Our 2010 Alexander Valley Cabernet Sauvignon has classic flavors of black currant, licorice, earth, and warm spice. The fruit comes from our terraced hillside ranch and two other properties within 2 miles of the winery. Low yields and small berries ensure chewy mouth-feel and concentrated flavors; this dramatic fruit-driven Cabernet has great structure as well as depth.

Technical sheet

 

Petite Sirah
The structure, full mouth-feel and lasting finish of our 2010 Alexander Valley Petite Sirah leaves no doubt that this is Petite Sirah. Yet it is surprisingly soft and welcoming, with aromas of thick dark berried fruit, camphor, lavender and dried flowers. Juicy and lush on the palate, even with all the structure it is not a hard-edged wine: just big, dark, and complicated.

Technical sheet

 

Angeli Cuvee
Angeli Cuvee is a proprietary blend of Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Carignane, and a small amount of Syrah made from our highest quality fruit sourced in Sonoma County. It’s a wine that makes an immediate impression from the first sip to the long, textured finish. It is generous in its flavors and aromas of blackberry, black cherries, graphite, and anise. Despite its immense power, it is both elegant and layered. We’ve been making Angeli Cuvee since 1990 and from our very first case we’ve had a hard time keeping up with demand.

Technical sheet

 

Working with family isn’t simple. For the first 20 years after starting Marietta Cellars Chris basically did everything. He sourced the grapes, made the wine, sold the wine nationally, and grew the business to the point where it had its own 30 acres of vineyard and own winery facility. Then, one by one, the boys started signing up and things got easier and harder. All the things Chris had done for 20 years in his particular way began to change. Between 2000 and today, Jake, Scot and Sam all worked in varying capacities in the winery as Chris quietly proved how much he loved and trusted his boys by allowing them to cut their teeth on his life’s work. Today, Chris has two responsibilities: he checks fruit during Harvest and helps Scot during final blending. In his free time he hunts in California and Montana, fishes in Alaska, enjoys wine, reads a lot, and spends time with his 6 grandchildren. He has even started going to Pilates classes.


Jake and Scot have known they wanted to be business partners for a long time. With different personalities and abilities, they know they are stronger working together. In 2012, they bought Marietta Cellars from their family enabling Chris to take his hard earned time off and their brother Sam to pursue his goal of creating his own wine brand (www.idlewildwines.com). They now have a whole new respect for what it takes to farm the land and run the winery. And they continue to try to understand how their father managed to do it all singlehandedly for so long.

Jake has been at Marietta Cellars since 2000 and has worked his way up from being a member of the vineyard crew, to tending all the vineyards, to running the bottling line, to managing national sales, to President of the company. Jake’s next challenge is to guide Marietta Cellar’s growth and to stay relevant under this next generation of Bilbros: all while keeping connection to the history and ideals that have made the winery unique.

Scot joined the family business in 2007 after completing a degree in Viticulture and Enology at Davis. He is now Winemaker and General Manager at Marietta Cellars. Scot is passionate about making beautiful, accessible wines without pomp and circumstance. It was a perfect fit to blend his technical training with Chris’s 30 years of instinct and experience. The success of Scot and Chris’s partnership has enabled Marietta Cellars to branch out and increase production, while continuing to uphold their promise to make the best possible wine at the best possible price.

Vineyard Crew
Our vineyard crew shares descriptions with our winery equipment: widely sourced, workhorse, dependable, and honest. Our Vineyard Manager, Ben Kaisi, is a 20-year veteran of the Construction industry so aside from perfectly tended grapes we have immaculately built pump houses. Our Vineyard Foreman, Soccoro Casillas, has farmed some of our vineyards for over 20 years with the same crews. Our Harley driving mechanic and our beachbum truck driver have both found their home with us after other careers. And most importantly, our vineyard workers work year round in all conditions, and show incredible stamina, cheer, and pride in their work.

Cellar and Office Crew
Our cellar would be a shambles and our cellar crew would be lost without the leadership of our cellar-master Roman Cisneros. He knows what we do and why we do it better than anyone. He began working with Chris 25 years ago and Marietta Cellar’s success is largely due to his physical efforts. He is a calm, kind, big-hearted man. He works with a unique crew that can be found without fail playing cards during lunch in the winter and basketball or soccer in the summer. The majority of the crew has worked with us for over ten years; our newest employee has been with us for four years.

Our office is in the original house on the winery property. Viola Angeli, after whom Angeli Cuvee is named, lived here for thirteen years after selling the property to Chris. Now, her house is surrounded by the winery and is the daily home of Jake and Scot along with all of the office employees. Barry Ackerman is our fantastic and over qualified Controller. Linda Walker is our Bookkeeper, Mother Hen, and Cheery Face (she took over when her sister retired from that position). And we are happy to have Edd Lopez as our National Sales and Marketing Director: the crucial link between the winery and its sales across all 50 states.

 

Testimonials
My best value wineries of the year…
Bodega Tres Picos in Spain…
Marietta Cellars in Alexander Valley…
Louis Martini in Sonoma and Napa…
and Domaine Lefage in the Rousillon.
Robert M. Parker, Jr. - 2013

I applaud your dad Chris for his down to earth sense and humbleness, (Hard to find these days at many California wineries.) and for his consistent, conscientious and great winemaking skill. It is nice to see that there is somebody out there who does not follow fads or trends. Thanks for the great wine!
Aaron Krahnert, Customer

I would like to congratulate you for giving the world the perfect "Wednesday night wine." In a world where the average wine customer insists on drinking only Cabernet or Merlot, in a winemaking culture where the boundaries of varietal characteristics become indiscernible, I thank you for reassuring individuals that blends can satisfy diverse palates as well as scrutinizing wine drinkers.
Drew Goin, Cuban Liquor & Gourmet

It’s immediately evident how much Old Vine Red trumps mass-market competitors that cost only a couple of bucks less. It tastes like classic old-fashioned California table red, robust in that Zinfandel way, but a far cry from the generic and sugary confections against which it competes.
Jon Bonné, The New California Wine

I’m sitting here listening to a little Bob Marley and drinking the best damn glass of wine I have had in a very long time—your Old Vine Red Lot 39. I just felt compelled to let you know how very much I am enjoying it. Each sip is better than the last; the wine and the music are a perfect pairing. Many thanks to you and your family, for bringing a big smile to this girl’s face after a very, very long day. Bravo.
Tracy McConnell, Customer

This opaque purple-colored wine offers up huge quantities of sweet black-cherries and cassis, intermixed with scents of pepper, truffles, and spices. Full-bodied, with a kirsch-like flavor, this dense, chewy, fleshy wine is California's answer to a top-notch Chateauneuf du Pape. If readers have not yet learned the formula here, it is: Marietta Cellars = high quality, modest prices, and considerable pleasure!
Robert M. Parker, Jr. on Old Vine Red

 

How to find us
We have always kept a low profile in order to concentrate on what we love most: making wine. In order to stay streamlined and focused, we sell only through distributors and do not have a tasting room. Our goal is to make great wine and have it accessible nationwide at fair prices. If you are having a hard time finding our wine, email us at info@mariettacellars.com and we will point you to the nearest retailer.