Since wine starts with the vine so will I. My first vine related memory was our Pinot Noir clonal story. When I was born we lived on the Stanley Ranch in Carneros at the end of Stanley lane. My father, Louis P Martini, and John Daniels had isolated 20 different clones of Pinot Noir from John‘s home property known as Inglenook. My father then planted a half row, about twenty vines, of each clone on our La Loma Ranch (which was the name of the Stanley Ranch since the late 1800s). That was in 1948 before I was born, which was 1949. When they started producing in 1952 Dr Olmo, of UC Davis, and my father made individual batches of wine out of each clone for the next three years.
This is where I came in. In 1956 my dad had me sitting on the back of his blue dodge truck peeling the leaves and tendrils off of the bud wood he was selecting. We wrapped them in burlap sacks and buried them in wet sand in a barn. Little did I know that this wood was bound for UC Davis where Dr. William Hewitt and Dr. Austin Goheen, plant virologists, were going to index them to certify them disease free. Three of these clones were then distributed to nurseries who supplied them to new vineyard plantings. This became known as the Martini clone and a good portion of the states Pinot Noir stemmed from that early study.