Courtney Benham

(707) 823-2404 Martin Ray Winery/2191 Laguna Road
Santa Rosa, Russian River Valley, CA 95401
United States View map

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Courtney Benham is the proprietor and principal winemaker of Martin Ray winery (formerly Martini and Prati), located in the Russian River Valley in California, which he purchased in 2003. He grew up in a winemaking family in the San Joaquin Valley, and has dedicated his life to honing his craftsmanship. The winery itself dates back to the 19th century, established in 1881 as the Twin Fir winery, and became Martini and Prati in 1902. Since it was able to produce sacramental wines during the Prohibition (the only way to legally stay in business), it has the distinction of being the oldest winery to be in continuous operation in Sonoma. A line of signature wines with fruit sourced from Napa, Edna Valley and Stags Leap are labeled Courtney Benham, produced and sold as part of the Martin Ray portfolio. 

– Description from Amanda Schuster

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Varietals Produced by Courtney Benham View all

  • Zinfandel

    Parentage of the grape: Crljenak to Austria to America. In the 1970s, claims surfaced that the Italian Primitivo is l...

  • Gewürztraminer

    Gewürztraminer’s direct and obvious charm has made it a popular varietal in almost every corner of the wine world. Ex...

  • Cabernet Sauvignon

    “King of the Red Wine Grapes.” The colonizer of the vineyards, pushing native wine grapes into its shadows. The Caber...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Pinot Noir

    “With so voluptuous a perfume, so sweet an edge, they make the blood run hot,” Joel Fleischman, wine columnist at Van...

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Courtney Benham on Snooth

  • Courtney Benham Gewürztraminer Sonoma County 2014


    nose starts with heavy tropical flowers that are very fresh and crispy at the end. light beginning in taste, round, jelly body with peach with something tropical again, like "Acca sellowiana"... very consistent combination of nose and flavor. Read More

    Wine review by ApelsecS

  • Many wineries are distinctly associated with a single appellation or growing ... named it Twin Fir Winery. Courtney Benham purchased Martin Ray in 1990 and moved it to Sonoma County in 2003. When he exercised the option to purchase the property in 2014 he also invested in modernizing the production facility and every aspect of the hospitality ... Read More

    From the article Winery Spotlight: Martin Ray

  • Courtney Benham Pinot Noir Central Coast 2006


    No written review

    Wine review by hransom

  • I don't know that I have a "favorite" <$20 CS, but as an ... ... ... enjoying:Newton ClaretCourtney Benham NapaMerryvale StarmontFolie a Deux AlexanderSterling NapaChateau St. Jean SonomaValley of the MoonMondavi NapaBV NapaSimi AlexanderAlexander ValleyClos du ValBenziger SonomaSt. Francis ClaretJoel GottAngelineLyeth Red MeritageIf I buy si... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Your fave Cab under $20?!

  • Whats your favorite penny saving cab and WHY?!  :)To make it easier, feel free to follow this format! Name: Belle AmbiencePrice (roughly): $9Why: Deep fruity notes of red berries, cherries and  a little vanilla dolce at the end. A perfect way to wind down and relax in the evening after a long hard day at work. Read More

    Forum post in the topic Your fave Cab under $20?!

  • v v -- It seems that Total Wine has some 'house labels" (I don't ... add Montoya and the entire Courtney Benham line (Courtney Benham, Martin Ray and Angeline). Whoa, that event you attended, Al was pretty much a shotgun blast--all kinds of wines from all over the place.  Personally, I can't wait for the Google Car to save me from nights like ... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Weekday Wines

  • Courtney Benham Gewürztraminer Mendocino County 2012


    Cooking spices, dried apricot, fig, a bit of tangerine, slight touch of sweetness, but not sugary or syrupy. Not too complex, not much acidity but a decent finish. Read More

    Wine review by vin0vin0

  • Courtney Benham Red Blend Central Coast Lucca Red 2010


    A big red blend, intense and rich with complex flavors. Dark cherries and a hint of vanilla to give it that amazing big hearty taste. Read More

    Wine review by Dezired86

  • Courtney Benham Sauvignon Blanc Napa Valley 2011


    Hints of grapefruit smooth Read More

    Wine review by dtarzia

  • Skeptical I recently visited the Napa Valley for the first time in about ... 90pts 2009 Martin Ray Courtney Benham Cabernet Sauvignon Napa Valley 13.9% $25 Gentle on the nose with an early meaty note, followed by a nice blend of balanced tarragon, wet clay, Middle Eastern spice, eucalyptus and spiced cherry aromas. Rather precise and focused o... Read More

    From the article 10 Top Napa Cabernets Under $50

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