Cart 0 items: $0.00
My Account  |  Log In

Fort Ross Vineyard

Fort Ross
September 12, 2023 | Fort Ross

Fall 2023 Releases Wine & Food Pairings

Embrace the warm spring weather and longer evenings with our latest releases and suggested pairings.

2021Bicentennial Chardonnay & Whole Wheat Lasagna with Butternut Squash and Kale


A rich, flavorful, yet healthy twist on your classic lasagna, this fall favorite pairs best with our 2021 Bicentennial Chardonnay.

Recipe here.

2021 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir & Veggie Chili with Brown Butter Maple Cornbread


Jump into the fall spirit with this rich, flavorful, comforting chili recipe, paired with our 2021 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir.

Recipe here.

2018 Pinotage & Sausage and Peppers with Polenta and Grilled Toast


We love capturing the savory side of our 2018 Pinotage by pairing it with a spicy Italian sausage and grilled peppers.

Recipe here. 

Time Posted: Sep 12, 2023 at 4:45 AM Permalink to Fall 2023 Releases Wine & Food Pairings Permalink
Fort Ross
September 11, 2023 | Fort Ross

2018 Pinotage & Sausage and Peppers with Polenta and Grilled Toast

Fall wine pairing: 2018 Pinotage & Sausage and Peppers with Polenta and Grilled Toast

We love capturing the savory side of our 2018 Pinotage by pairing it with a spicy Italian sausage and grilled peppers

Recipe by Adam Dulye via Sunset Magazine



3 cups water 

1 ⅓ cups polenta 

1 tsp kosher salt 

2 tbsp butter 

¼ cup parmesan cheese, finely grated

Sausage & Peppers

4 links Italian or hot Italian sausage 

2 red bell peppers, cut lengthwise and thinly sliced 

1 red Fresno pepper, thinly sliced into rings (optional) 

1 medium yellow onion, thinly sliced 

2 garlic cloves, peeled and thinly sliced 

1 cup cherry tomatoes, rinsed and stems removed, or 1 can diced tomatoes 

1 tsp thyme 

1 tsp dried basil or

¼ cup fresh basil 

¼ tsp red chile flake 

¼ cup dry white wine or crisp and clean craft beer 

2 tbsp olive oil kosher salt and black pepper



1. In a medium saucepan bring the water to a boil.

2. Slowly pour in the polenta while stirring with a whisk. Continue to stir constantly for one minute.

3. Turn the heat down to low, cover the pan with a tight-fitting lid.

4. Stir every five minutes for 40 minutes. Be careful not to let polenta stick to the bottom of pan. If sticking occurs stir constantly or turn heat lower.

5. Season with kosher salt and finish by stirring in butter and parmesan.

6. Apply butter to one side the bread and place face down on the grilling surface until crispy and lightly golden-brown.

7. Light a grill and bring to medium heat.

8. In a medium sauté pan over medium heat add the olive oil and once heated add the onions. Stir to coat with oil and cook 2-3 minutes.

9. Add the red pepper and Fresno pepper (if using) and cook 2-3 minutes.

10. Turn heat to low and allow peppers and onions to soften, about 7-10 minutes.

11. Bring the heat back up to medium and add the white wine or craft beer.

12. Reduce by half of the liquid, about one minute.

13. Add the cherry tomatoes, garlic, thyme, basil, and chile flake.

14. Reduce heat to low and simmer for 15 minutes.

15. Use a fork or spoon to pop the cherry tomatoes that have not popped on their own.

16. Grill the sausages until cooked through, about 5-6 minutes per side.

 Pair with our 2018 Pinotage »


Time Posted: Sep 11, 2023 at 11:36 AM Permalink to 2018 Pinotage & Sausage and Peppers with Polenta and Grilled Toast Permalink
Fort Ross
September 11, 2022 | Fort Ross

2017 Pinotage & Grilled Rib-Eye with Blistered Padrón Peppers

Fall 2022 selections: Grilled Rib-Eye with Blistered Padrón Peppers

Take advantage of the last bit of warm weather this September by opening up the grill. This recipe recommends using a smoker to infuse fruit flavors into the rib-eye, a perfect match to our 2017 Pinotage

Recipe by Matthew Dillon via Sunset Magazine


2 beef rib-eye steaks, each 16 oz. and 1 1/4 to 1 1/2 in. thick, preferably well-marbled, grass-fed, and dry-aged

 2 tablespoons grapeseed oil, divided

 2 1/4 teaspoons kosher salt, divided

 About 1 1/4 tsp. pepper, divided

 1/4 cup butter, divided, softened

 2 tablespoons fresh thyme leaves, divided

 2 tablespoons honey, divided

 2 tablespoons cider vinegar, divided

 2 cups (5 oz.) Padrón or shishito peppers

 2 garlic cloves, thinly sliced


1. An hour before cooking, season steaks with 2 tsp. salt and 1 tsp. pepper and set on a plate to come to room temperature. Then, brush steaks with 1 tbsp. oil. Meanwhile, soak 1 cup fruitwood chips in a bowl of water about 30 minutes.

2. Put 2 tbsp. butter in a shallow baking dish big enough to hold steaks. Add a few cracks of pepper and 1 tbsp. each thyme, honey, and vinegar; bring to grill area. Bring ingredients for peppers to grill: the Padróns; remaining 1 tbsp. oil, 1/4 tsp. salt, and 2 tbsp. butter; a dish with remaining 1 tbsp. thyme and the garlic; and another dish with remaining 1 tbsp. each honey and vinegar. Also bring a large cast-iron skillet, wooden spoon, grilling tongs, and foil.

3. For charcoal, ignite a very full chimney of hardwood mesquite charcoal on firegrate of a charcoal grill. Arrange coals on firegrate in a slope so there's a hotter area and a cooler one. Drain wood chips and scatter over charcoal. Set cooking grate in place. For gas, heat a gas grill to high (450° to 550°). Put drained wood chips in the grill's smoking box, or seal chips in a packet of foil, cut dime-size holes, and set directly on a burner. Cover grill.

4. When wood chips start to smoke (1 to 2 minutes for charcoal, 10 to 15 minutes for gas), set steaks over hottest part of charcoal fire (or anywhere on gas grill). Grill steaks covered, turning once and moving to cooler part of charcoal fire if they start to flare up, until well browned and done the way you like, about 10 minutes for medium-rare. Transfer steaks to baking dish with butter mixture, turn to coat, and tent loosely with foil.

5. Heat cast-iron skillet on cooking grate. When hot, add 1 tbsp. oil and swirl to coat. Then add peppers and 1/4 tsp. salt. Cook, shaking skillet and stirring occasionally, until peppers are browned and blistered, about 5 minutes. Add butter and let it foam and brown, 45 to 60 seconds. Stir in thyme, garlic, and honey-vinegar, then pour mixture over steaks. Let steaks rest about 1 minute more.

6. Transfer steaks to a cutting board, leaving juices and peppers in baking dish. Slice steaks crosswise into 1/2- to 3/4-in. strips. Using a spatula, pick up strips in original shape of steaks and set on a platter. Spoon about half of juices and peppers over steaks and serve the rest in a bowl on the side.

Pair with 2017 Pinotage »

Why It Works 

With its savory, leathery characteristics, our 2017 Pinotage is made for red meat off the grill. Its bold plum and blueberry notes mingle with the smoked, fruity character of the rib-eye, while firm tannins, cedar, peppercorn, and herbal spicy character are enlivened by the blistered padróns. 

Time Posted: Sep 11, 2022 at 10:00 AM Permalink to 2017 Pinotage & Grilled Rib-Eye with Blistered Padrón Peppers Permalink
Fort Ross
September 7, 2021 | Fort Ross

2016 Pinotage & Vietnamese Shaking Beef

Recipe by Food & Wine Magazine

The Recipe

1 1/2 tablespoons oyster sauce, plus more to taste
1 tablespoon soy sauce
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar
1 1/2 teaspoons cornstarch
1 teaspoon fish sauce
1/2 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
2 garlic cloves, smashed
1 1/2 pounds boneless rib eye steak or New York strip steak, trimmed and cut into 3/4- to 1-inch pieces

1/4 cup thinly sliced red onion or shallot
2 tablespoons water
1 1/2 tablespoons unseasoned rice vinegar
1 1/2 teaspoons granulated sugar or honey
1/8 teaspoon fine sea salt
1/8 teaspoon freshly ground black pepper
4 cups lightly packed watercress, baby arugula, or other salad greens
1 cup torn radicchio or 8 halved cherry tomatoes
1/4 cup fresh mint, basil, or other herb leaves, torn
2 tablespoons canola oil or other neutral oil (such as grapeseed)

Step 1: Stir together oyster sauce, soy sauce, sugar, cornstarch, fish sauce, pepper, and garlic in a medium bowl. If a saltier finish is desired, add up to 1 1/2 teaspoons more oyster sauce. Add beef, toss well to coat, and let marinate 20 minutes at room temperature.

Step 2: Rinse onions in a strainer under cold running water for about 10 seconds; set aside. Whisk together 2 tablespoons water, vinegar, sugar, salt, and pepper in a large bowl until sugar is dissolved. Add onion; top with watercress, radicchio, and herbs. Do not toss.

Step 3: Heat a large, heavy skillet over high, and add oil. When oil is shimmering, carefully add beef in a single layer. Cook, shaking pan every 30 to 60 seconds, until seared on all sides and meat reaches desired degree of doneness, 3 to 4 minutes for medium-rare. Remove from heat. Quickly toss salad, and transfer to a platter or serving dish. Pile cooked beef and juices on salad, and serve immediately.

Why it works

With its fine-grained tannins, savory, smoky character, and plum compote fruit flavors, Pinotage has a natural affinity for beef dishes. In this recipe, rice vinegar, oyster sauce, and honey add lifted acidity to the peppered beef that matches our 2016 Pinotage's structure precisely, highlighting the fruit. The spice notes on the beef & green notes from the herbs and salad are bright & balanced against the tannins. 

Time Posted: Sep 7, 2021 at 7:48 AM Permalink to 2016 Pinotage & Vietnamese Shaking Beef Permalink
Fort Ross
January 14, 2021 | Fort Ross

Al's Oxtail

This hearty dish is a great comfort on fall & winter evenings. Pour a glass of Pinotage, and enjoy.



6lbs oxtail

1 large purple onion, chopped

4 cloves garlic, crushed

1 red bell pepper, chopped

1 cup dates, pitted & chopped

4 tsp cinnamon

1 1/2 tsp oregano

1 tsp curry powder

1 tsp cumin

1 tsp dried ginger

1 tsp cayenne pepper

1/2 tsp nutmeg


1. Brown oxtail thoroughly on high heat in olive oil. Salt well.

2. Sautée onion on low heat until soft. Add salt to this is well.

3. Add garlic to pan, then add herbs.

4. Add onion mix to the oxtail & cover with water.

5. Bring oxtail to a boil. Add dates & bell pepper.

6. Cook covered on low heat for 2 1/2 hours, or until meat falls off the bone.

7. Add salt & pepper to taste. 

Time Posted: Jan 14, 2021 at 10:49 AM Permalink to Al's Oxtail Permalink
Fort Ross
July 1, 2020 | Fort Ross

Grilled Prime New York Steak with King Oyster Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Brown Butter

Big, red wine with steak is a classic pairing, and one that we simply love. The topping of king oyster mushrooms, aged balsamic vinegar, and brown butter is really what makes this pairing so in sync. The savory, earthy flavors in the Pinotage match the umami found in the mushrooms while the herbal and red fruit notes harmonize with the aged balsamic.


Grilled Prime New York Steak 

with king oyster mushrooms, aged balsamic vinegar and brown butter

By Chef Neal Fraser at Redbird

Serves 2-3


1 36-ounce Prime Porterhouse steak

2 sprigs of thyme

3 king oyster mushrooms cut in ½ and scored with a knife

2 garlic cloves

3 oz butter

1 oz aged balsamic vinegar

Kosher salt (Diamond Krystal preferred)

Black pepper to taste


1. Light the grill. White oak is a great choice for wood. Get 1/2 or a 1/3  of the grill ripping hot.  Leave the other side off. Temper steak to room temperature before cooking. Season heavily with salt and pepper.

2. Bring a sauté pan to high heat. Season mushrooms with salt, sear cut side down. Place another pan on top of the mushrooms to keep them flat. Lower flame and cook until mushrooms are golden brown. Flip and add garlic, thyme and butter. Lower flame and brown mushrooms in the butter. Cook until tender, around 10 minutes. Discard garlic and thyme. Reserve mushrooms in pan.

3. Grill steak over high flame.  Cross hatch on both sides. Brown edges. Move steak once seared to the cooler part of the grill and close top. Cook to desired doneness. Once cooked to desired doneness, remove from grill and rest for five minutes. Slice steak. Garnish with mushrooms, butter and balsamic. Enjoy.



Time Posted: Jul 1, 2020 at 12:23 PM Permalink to Grilled Prime New York Steak with King Oyster Mushrooms, Balsamic, and Brown Butter Permalink