Fort Ross Vineyard is featured in Sonoma Magazine's latest article: 12 Wineries to Visit Right Now. Join us this Valentine's Day at our Estate Tasting Room for a special opportunity to taste our 2015 Blanc de Noirs Sparkling Pinot Noir! This limited-production, 37 cases, sparkling wine is made from all estate-grown Pinot Noir in the traditional method, secondary fermentation in bottle. This adds toasty flavors of brioche and vanilla to the citrus and light berry fruit notes from the Pinot Noir.
The Fort Ross-Seaview AVA is one of Sonoma County’s smallest, with fewer than 600 planted acres, located on steep coastal ridges inland from the ocean with elevations ranging from 920 to 1,800 feet. These slopes produce some of the finest cool-climate grapes in the county, though Fort Ross winery owners Lester and Linda Schwartz were warned decades ago that great fruit would likely not flourish in such foggy conditions. Proving the naysayers wrong, they carved out 53 acres of vineyards planted to Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and, in a nod to their South African roots, Pinotage.
The winery was closed for a time in August while a nearby wildfire was brought under control. “We were very fortunate and are immensely grateful for the firefighters who held the line and prevented the fire from reaching the property,” explains vice president Johanna Bernstein. The tasting room reopened as quickly as possible, offering samples of four estate-grown wines together with a pairing of charcuterie or artisanal cheeses, with house-made morsels that might include duck with dried sour-cherry terrine, local rabbit rillette, and marinated vegetables.
On Valentine’s Day weekend, along with the usual wine-and-food pairing expect a welcoming taste of the winery’s limited production Sea Stars Sparkling Blanc de Noir, made from estate-grown Pinot, as well as sweet treats to take home.
Thanksgiving dinner calls for a whole range of classic dishes, inspired by fall harvest. This year, we've found some modern twists on your favorite Thanksgiving recipes, as well as how to pair them with Fort Ross Vineyard wines.
Suggested pairing: 2017 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay
Photo & recipe curtesy of Bon Appétit
Roasted squash is a mainstay of the Thanksgiving spread. In this modern twist on the tarte tatin (usually made with apples), the rich creaminess of butternut squash is enhanced with a touch of sweetness, and cinnamon. With the final touches in the oven, it gains extra toastiness & spice. Similar flavors can all be found in our 2017 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay. Toasty oak and baking spice along with a round, creamy mouthfeel will meld harmoniously with this sweet-and-savory tart.
Photo & recipe curtesy of the Washington Post
Add a little lift to this Thanksgiving-must by adding wine. We recommend using our 2017 Bicentennial Pinot Noir to boost the red fruit flavors, or our 2014 Pinotage to add more spice and enhance the citrus flavors. In either case, this is the ideal recipe for those who enjoy a glass or two while cooking - a splash in the sauce, and a bigger splash in the glass!
Suggested pairing: 2017 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir
Photo & recipe curtesty of Bon Appétit
With bacon and Chanterelle mushrooms stir fried in with the Brussels sprouts, this Thanksgiving side dish gets an extra layer of umami and richness. Our pick for this one is the 2017 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir; with a fuller body and savory, earthy notes, it will pick up the umami notes in the mushrooms. Layers of spice and red fruit will add some freshness to the dish as well, encouraging the nuances of flavors to come through in the wine & the food.
Suggested pairing: 2014 Reserve Pinotage
Photo & recipe curtesy of Epicurious
No Thanksgiving centerpiece is complete without the turkey. This brining technique helps to flavor the interior meat, adding complex nuances in the form of spice, umami, and a lift of citrus. Our 2014 Reserve Pinotage displays earthy notes along with truffle and dried floral notes that will mingle with these spices. Good acidity plus pomegrante and citrus notes balance the wine, and highlight the brighter elements of this brine.
These four ideas for modern twists on Thanksgiving dinner are delicious ways to try something new this year. Enjoy!