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Fort Ross Vineyard

Fort Ross
April 1, 2021 | Fort Ross

Ricotta Fava Toasts

Springtime 2021 selections: Ricotta Fava Toasts

This Food & Wine recipe is best paired with our newly released 2018 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay



3 quarts water

2 tablespoons plus 1 teaspoon fine sea salt, divided, plus more to taste

1 pound unshelled fava beans or 1 cup frozen shelled favas or edamame

1/3 cup plus 1 tablespoon olive oil, divided

4 (1/2-inch-thick) rustic bread slices or pain au levain slices, cut from the center of the loaf

1 cup fresh whole-milk ricotta cheese

1 teaspoon finely chopped fresh tarragon, plus whole tarragon leaves, for garnish

1/8 teaspoon black pepper


1. Bring 3 quarts water to a boil in a large stockpot over high. Stir in 2 tablespoons salt. Shell fava beans; add beans to boiling water. Cook until tender, about 4 minutes. Using a slotted spoon, immediately transfer beans to a bowl filled with ice water; let stand 2 minutes. Drain well. If using shelled fresh beans, peel and discard skins from beans. Stir together peeled beans, 1 tablespoon oil, and 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl. Set aside.

2. Preheat grill to medium-high (400°F to 450°F). Brush bread slices evenly on both sides with remaining 1/3 cup oil. Place on unoiled grates; grill, uncovered, until grill marks appear, about 2 minutes per side.

3. Stir together ricotta, chopped tarragon, pepper, and remaining 1/2 teaspoon salt in a small bowl; spread seasoned ricotta evenly on 1 side of each toast slice; top evenly with dressed favas. Cut toasts in half on an angle; arrange on a serving platter. Season with salt, and sprinkle with tarragon leaves.

Time Posted: Apr 1, 2021 at 7:30 PM Permalink to Ricotta Fava Toasts 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
November 6, 2020 | Fort Ross

Thanksgiving the Sonoma Coast Way

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.

1. Butternut Squash Tarte Tatin

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.

2. Red Wine Cranberry Sauce

Suggested pairing: 2017 Bicentennial Pinot Noir or 2014 Pinotage

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!

3. Grilled Brussels Sprouts with Chanterelles

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.

4. Cider-Brined Turkey with Star Anise and Cinnamon

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!

Time Posted: Nov 6, 2020 at 10:21 AM Permalink to Thanksgiving the Sonoma Coast Way Permalink
Fort Ross
June 1, 2020 | Fort Ross

Fava Bean and Pecorino Bruschetta

Take advantage of fava beans while they're in season with this refreshing salad. We recommend pairing it with a glass of our Chardonnay - juicy flavors of lemon curd, autumnal pears, hazelnuts and brioche complement the savory spices and salty character of this dish. 


Fava Bean & Pecorino Bruschetta

by Chef Marco Canora at Hearth


3 pounds fava pods (about 2 cups shelled)

6 ounces Pecorino Toscano or other young pecorino cheese

1/4 cup spring onions, thiny sliced

1 1/2 teaspoons dried oregano 

Pinch of red pepper flakes

3/4 teaspoon cracked black pepper

3/4 cup extra virign olive oil

1 tablespoon white wine vinegar

1 tablespoon dry white wine

3 tablespoons finely chopped flat-leaf parsley


1. Bring a large pot of salted water to boil. Meanwhile, shell the favas.

2. Drop the beans into the boiling water and blanch until their skins loosen, about 3 minutes. Cool in ice water, peel, and put them in a large bowl.

3. Cut the pecorino into 1/4" cubes and add it to the bowl with the favas. 

4. Add the rest of the ingredients to the bowl and mix well. Season to taste with salt and serve.

Time Posted: Jun 1, 2020 at 11:59 AM Permalink to Fava Bean and Pecorino Bruschetta Permalink