Home Industry News Releases Martinez Orchards Selected to Propagate, Sell Baldocchi Zinfandel Clone 29 Grapevines

Martinez Orchards Selected to Propagate, Sell Baldocchi Zinfandel Clone 29 Grapevines


SANTA ROSA, April 22, 2021 – Dempel Farming Company President Robert Dempel has selected Martinez Orchards Inc., of Winters, Calif., to propagate and sell the historic certified Baldocchi Zinfandel Clone 29 grapevines. 

Budwood for Martinez was recently procured from Foundation Plant Services (FPS) at UC Davis. FPS Director Dr. Deborah Golino assures the material is clean and meets the standards of the protocol 2010 testing. The material was taken from two vines in the FPS Classic Foundation vineyard block this spring. 

Martinez will propagate the cuttings into full mature vines, which will be used to grow grafted Zinfandel Clone 29 vines by 2023 and then available to purchase from Martinez.   

Dempel has had a long relationship with Martinez Orchards, which began as a partnership between famous wine writer/historian Ernest Peninou and Dan Martinez Sr. In the 1970s, Dempel became a dealer for the Martinez dormant rootstock vines. Through the 1970s and 1980s, Dempel marketed over 100,000 of the Martinez vines annually to grape growers in the North Coast. 


The history of the Baldocchi clone goes back some 65 years when Dempel became friends with Dewey and Irene Baldocchi. Baldocchi had a field of zinfandel that dated back to Dewey’s parents, who planted it in the late 1800s in Fulton, Sonoma County. Dempel remembered this, and in the 1980s, took samples from five vines to FPS at UC Davis and entered them into the certification program. After regular testing, Dempel was able to obtain a small amount of the precious budwood in 2020.

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