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Fort Ross Vineyard

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LESTER & LINDA SCHWARTZ, Owners, Founders

Lester and Linda met when they were both students at the University of Cape Town, South Africa in the 1960s. Lester, the son of a lawyer and a farmer, was studying geology at the time while Linda, a pianist and composer, was studying music. Subsequently, Lester graduated as an attorney and Linda completed her degree in music composition and music theory. They were married in 1967. Nine years later the couple moved to California where Lester practiced law as an attorney in San Francisco and Linda studied Arts Administration and soon joined a consulting firm that advised non-profit arts organizations.

JEFF PISONI, Winemaker

Jeff spent his childhood immersed in his family, the farm and the vineyards. These influences, his father’s winemaking and an early interest in science allowed Jeff to know from very early on that he would pursue a life of making wine. He earned a degree in Enology from the California State University at Fresno, and after working at other wineries (Peter Michael and Bernardus), started making wine full-time with his family. Jeff loves the interwoven art, science and craft aspects of winemaking, and the never-ending learning and appreciation of nature found while working with the vineyards and wine.