Califonia Bountiful

Martinelli's Apple Cider

From a small idea, came one of the largest cider businesses in the world!

The success story of Martinelli's sparkling cider began way back in 1868, when Stephen G. Martinelli started making hard apple cider in his brother's barn, using apples from California's first commercial orchards. The Central Coast business continued to ride a high of popularity until Prohibition, when the fresh apple market dried up for most farmers in the area and the once-profitable product was largely forgotten, except by the Martinelli family.

Today, it's Stephen's great-grandson, John Martinelli, who keeps the juices flowing in downtown Watsonville. There, the family pays homage to their past with a display of historic bottles and labels in their new tasting room.

The 151-year-old business continues to thrive, thanks in part to growers in the nearby Pajaro Valley. Farmers there grow a unique blend of apples that, when mixed together, make Martinelli's apple cider the toast of the town.

Once these fresh apples are harvested, they travel to Martinelli's state-of-the-art production facility to be cleaned and inspected. The rule here is, if they don't look good enough to eat, they don't make it into the juice. Next, the apples are ground, pressed, placed in stainless-steel tanks, refrigerated and then bottled and pasteurized—all with that special Martinelli's touch.

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