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Fort Ross Vineyard

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, 2023 | Fort Ross

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

Fall wine pairing: 2021 Bicentennial 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 by Annabelle Breakey and Karen Shinto via Sunset Magazine


4 tablespoons olive oil, divided

1 medium red onion, peeled and sliced

3 peeled garlic cloves (1 minced, 2 left whole) 

2 cans (14 oz. each) crushed tomatoes 

1 teaspoon dried oregano 

About 1 tsp. each salt and freshly ground black pepper, divided 

6 cups (about 2 lbs.) butternut squash, peeled and cut into 1/2-in. cubes 

1/2 tsp. dried thyme 

1 pound Lacinato kale (often sold as dinosaur or Tuscan kale) 

9 whole-wheat lasagna noodles (about 8 oz.) 

1 container (15 oz.) part-skim-milk ricotta cheese 

1/8 teaspoon ground nutmeg 

2 cups shredded mozzarella cheese, divided


1. Preheat oven to 400°. Heat 2 tbsp. olive oil in a 2- to 3-qt. pot over medium heat. Add onion and minced garlic; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is soft and translucent, 5 minutes. Add tomatoes, oregano, and 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper. Reduce heat and simmer until thick and flavors are combined, about 30 minutes. Set aside.

2. While sauce is cooking, in a 12- by 15-in. baking pan, sprinkle squash with thyme, remaining olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste. Add garlic cloves and toss squash mixture to coat with oil. Bake until soft, 10 to 15 minutes. Meanwhile, bring 3 qts. salted water to a boil in a large pot.

3. Reduce oven temperature to 350°. Transfer squash and garlic to a food processor and purée until smooth.

4. Tear kale leaves from center ribs and discard ribs. Boil leaves until soft, 5 to 8 minutes. Drain; let cool. Squeeze out as much water as possible and chop finely.

5. In the same pot, bring another 3 qts. salted water to a boil. Add noodles and cook until tender to the bite, about 10 minutes. Drain; rinse with cold water.

6. In a bowl, mix ricotta, nutmeg, 1 cup mozzarella, and remaining 1/2 tsp. each salt and pepper.

7. Coat the bottom of a 9- by 13-in. pan with 1/3 of tomato sauce (about 1 1/2 cups). Lay 3 noodles in a single layer over sauce. Top noodles with squash, spreading evenly. Sprinkle 1/2 of kale evenly over squash. Arrange 3 more noodles on kale and top with ricotta, spreading evenly. Top with remaining kale and noodles. Cover noodles with remaining tomato sauce and sprinkle with remaining 1 cup mozzarella.

8. Bake lasagna until juices are bubbling and cheese is melted, about 30 minutes. Let stand 10 minutes before slicing.

 Pair with our 2021 Bicentennial Chardonnay »


Time Posted: Sep 11, 2023 at 11:26 AM Permalink to 2021 Bicentennial Chardonnay & Whole Wheat Lasagna with Butternut Squash and Kale Permalink
Fort Ross
September 11, 2023 | Fort Ross

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

Fall wine pairing: 2021 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir & Veggie Chili

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

Recipe by Thomas J. Story via Sunset Magazine



1 cup each dried pinto beans and dried kidney beans, sorted of debris and rinsed, and soaked separately for two nights in 3 cups water each

1 oz each dry guajillo chile and dry ancho chile, stemmed and seeded, and soaked separately overnight in 1 1/2 cups hot water each

1 tbsp 90/10 canola and olive oil blend

3 ½ cups cups diced yellow onion

1 ½ cups cups diced carrot

2 cups diced bell pepper

3 oz jalapeño chile, seeded and diced

4 garlic cloves, minced

 2 ½ tsp salt

1 tsp sweet paprika 

1 tsp smoked paprika 

1 tbsp chili powder 

½ tsp cayenne 

½ tbsp cumin 

1 tsp black pepper 

2 tbsp onion powder 

2 tbsp tomato paste 

½ can crushed tomatoes 

4 ½ tbsp apple cider vinegar 

2 oz canned chipotle chiles in adobo 

1 ½ tbsp tbsp. brown sugar 

1 cup fresh corn kernels 

3 tbsp finely chopped dark chocolate (80% cacao) 

Sour cream, sliced green onion, pepitas, parmesan crisps, for garnish (optional)

Brown butter maple corn bread:

11 tbsp unsalted butter

 ½ cup maple syrup 

2 ½ cups buttermilk 

4 eggs 

1 ½ cups cornmeal 

1 cup all-purpose flour 

3 tsp baking powder 

2 tsp salt 

1 tsp baking soda




1. Drain and rinse beans; set aside. Drain chiles and reserve 1/2 cup of each soaking liquid; set aside.

2. Heat a large pot over medium-low heat. Add oil, then onion, carrot, bell pepper, jalapeño, garlic, and 1/2 tsp. salt. Stir frequently on medium-low heat until liquid is released and vegetables start to stew down.

3. Add the paprikas, chili powder, cayenne, cumin, black pepper, onion powder, tomato paste, beans, and tomatoes and stir to incorporate.

4. In a medium bowl, use an immersion blender to purée the chiles, the reserved chile soaking liquids, 1 1/2 tbsp. vinegar, the chipotle in adobo, brown sugar, 1 1/2 tsp. salt, and 3 tbsp. water. Add mixture to pot, bring to a simmer, and simmer lightly for 1 1/2 hours.

5. Add corn and 1/3 cup water to pot, bring back to a simmer, and let simmer lightly for 1 hour.

6. Remove pot from heat. Stir in the chocolate, 1/2 tsp. salt, and the remaining 3 tbsp. vinegar. Serve warm, topped with garnishes, if using.


1. Preheat oven to 375°. Cut butter into cubes, then brown the butter in a cast-iron skillet over medium heat. Swirl butter all over the sides and corners of pan. Pour butter into a large bowl. Place the skillet in the oven to heat before baking.

2. Whisk syrup into the brown butter. Whisk buttermilk into the mixture (which should be cool to the touch at this point). Whisk in eggs until smooth.

3. In a medium bowl, combine cornmeal, flour, baking powder, salt, and baking soda. Whisk into wet ingredients until just incorporated.

4. Remove skillet from oven. Pour batter into skillet and bake until a toothpick comes out clean, 25 to 30 minutes. 

Pair with our 2021 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir »


Time Posted: Sep 11, 2023 at 10:55 AM Permalink to 2021 Stagecoach Road Pinot Noir & Veggie Chili with Brown Butter Maple Corn Bread Permalink
Fort Ross
August 2, 2023 | Fort Ross

2021 Chenin Blanc & Glass Noodle Salad with Snap Peas and White Miso Vinaigrette

National White Wine Day: Glass Noodle Salad with Snap Peas and White Miso Vinaigrette

Our Estate Chef John Vong crafted this light, refreshing salad for our tasting room, and it is the perfect accompaniment to our newly released 2021 Chenin Blanc.

Recipe by Estate Chef John Vong. Yields 6-8.


½ c white miso

½ c rice vinegar

2 Tbsp fresh lime juice

2 Tbsp  water

½ c olive oil

4 Tbsp honey

1 Tbsp dijon mustard

1/2 tsp ground cardamom

2oz dry bean thread noodles

2c snap peas, thinly sliced

2c pea sprouts

1c jicama, julienne



1. Bring 2 quarts of water to a boil. Season heavily with salt. Add bean thread noodles and boil for 2 minutes. Strain noodles, and rinse with cold water until cool. Strain noodles again, and set aside side

2. To make the miso vinaigrette, add miso, rice vinegar, lime juice, water, Dijon mustard, cardamom, and olive oil to a blender. Blend until vinaigrette becomes creamy, about 1 minute.

3. To assemble salad, toss noodles, snap peas, and jicama with vinaigrette in a mixing bowl. Place noodles in serving dish. Next, add pea sprout to the same mixing bowl and toss to lightly dress. Place pea sprouts on top of glass noodles.

Pair with our 2021 Chenin Blanc »

Why It Works 

The sweetness of the fresh snap peas and local corn serve as a contrast to the bright acidity of our 2021 Chenin Blanc. Layers of ripe fruit dance with the tangy umami of the dressing for a zesty finish.  

Time Posted: Aug 2, 2023 at 6:45 AM Permalink to 2021 Chenin Blanc & Glass Noodle Salad with Snap Peas and White Miso Vinaigrette Permalink
Fort Ross
April 15, 2023 | Fort Ross

Spring 2023 Releases & Food Pairings

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

2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay & Spring Greens and Peas with Ricotta and Preserved Lemon


With fava beans, pea shoots, and dandelion greens, this lovely green salad pairs beautifull with our 2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay.

Recipe here.

2021 Bicentennial Pinot Noir & Portobello Mushroom & Red Pepper Pizza


Our 2021 Bicentennial Pinot Noir s a gorgeous, savory pairing for this mushroom & roasted red pepper pizza. A great plan for a Friday evening!

Recipe here.

2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir & Italian Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach


Fire up the grill and open a bottle of the 2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir

Recipe here. 

Time Posted: Apr 15, 2023 at 6:45 AM Permalink to Spring 2023 Releases & Food Pairings Permalink
Fort Ross
April 14, 2023 | Fort Ross

2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir & Italian Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach

Spring 2023 selections: Italian Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach

Fire up the grill and open a bottle of the 2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir.

Recipe by Grace Parisi via Food & Wine Magazine


10 ounces baby spinach

2 tablespoons extra-virgin olive oil, plus more for brushing

2 garlic cloves, minced

1 teaspoon anchovy paste (optional)


1 pound sweet or hot Italian sausages (or a combination of both), casings removed

4 slices of provolone cheese

1/4 cup sun-dried-tomato pesto

4 round ciabatta rolls, split and toasted


1. In a large skillet, bring 1/4 inch of water to a boil. Add the spinach and cook, stirring, until just wilted, about 1 minute; drain and press out as much water as possible. Wipe out the skillet.

2. In the same skillet, heat the 2 tablespoons of olive oil until shimmering. Add the garlic and anchovy paste and cook over high heat, stirring, until fragrant, 1 minute. Add the spinach, season with salt and stir just until coated, about 10 seconds.

3. Light a grill or preheat a grill pan. Using slightly moistened hands, form the sausage meat into four 4-inch patties, about 3/4 inch thick. Brush the burgers with oil and grill over moderate heat until browned and crusty on the bottom, about 5 minutes. Carefully flip the burgers. Top with the cheese and grill until the burgers are cooked through and the cheese is melted, about 5 minutes longer. Spread the pesto on the rolls. Top with the burgers and spinach and serve.

Pair with our 2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir »

Why It Works 

The intensely concentrated dark fruit flavors of our 2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir provide a pleasing contrast to the spicy and savory characteristics of the Italian sausage.  

Time Posted: Apr 14, 2023 at 9:30 AM Permalink to 2021 Top of Land Pinot Noir & Italian Sausage Burgers with Garlicky Spinach Permalink
Fort Ross
April 12, 2023 | Fort Ross

2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay & Spring Greens and Peas with Ricotta and Preserved Lemon

Spring 2023 selections: Spring Greens and Peas with Ricotta and Preserved Lemon

With fava beans, pea shoots, and dandelion greens, this lovely green salad pairs beautifull with our 2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay. Place the bottle in the fridge for about two hours, then enjoy!

Recipe by Michelle McKenzie via Sunset Magazine


10 ounces (2 cups) shelled fresh peas (from about 1 lb. pods)* or frozen peas, thawed

12 ounces ricotta, preferably sheep’s milk

1 tablespoon lemon juice

Freshly ground pepper

1/2 cup Preserved Lemon

Herb Oil (recipe at right) or best quality extra-virgin olive oil

4 ounces (about 4 cups) mixed spring greens

1 ounce (about 2 cups) of at least 3 mixed fresh herb leaves

About 1/2 ounce (1 bunch) chives, trimmed and snipped into 1⁄2-in. pieces

Flaky sea salt

Edible flowers, such as Johnny jump-up violas, sage, thyme, or arugula (optional)

Preserved Lemon Herb Oil


1. Bring a large pot of water to a boil; add salt until it tastes like the sea. Set a large bowl of ice water near the stove.

2. If using fresh peas, boil until bright green and tender, 30 seconds to 1 minute. With a slotted spoon, transfer to ice bath to cool. Drain well, spread on a kitchen towel, and pat dry. If using thawed frozen peas, dry them the same way, uncooked.

3. To 4 to 6 large shallow bowls, add a large spoonful of ricotta on one side.

4. In a large bowl, whisk together lemon juice, a pinch of fine sea salt, a few grinds of pepper, and 1/4 cup preserved lemon herb oil. Add peas, greens, herb leaves, chives, and another pinch of fine salt. Gently toss with clean hands. Season with more lemon juice, oil, or salt, depending on the greens used.

5. Mound salad next to cheese. Drizzle a spoonful of extra preserved lemon herb oil around each salad so that it forms a shallow, bright green pool. Top salads with flaky sea salt and a few edible flowers, if using. Serve at once.

Pair with our 2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay »

Why It Works 

The 2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay highlights the lemon and ricotta flavors excpetionally well, while dancing with the sweet greens and herbs that make this salad so refreshing.

Time Posted: Apr 12, 2023 at 9:25 PM Permalink to 2020 Mother of Pearl Chardonnay & Spring Greens and Peas with Ricotta and Preserved Lemon Permalink
Fort Ross
January 10, 2023 | Fort Ross

2019 Chardonnay & Celeriac Soup with Cardamom and Crème Fraiche

Winter 2023 selections: Celeriac Soup with Cardamom & Crème Fraiche

It's soup season, and Chef John Vong has just the recipe for you. This creamy, seasonably appropriate soup is a delightful pairing with our 2019 Chardonnay - with it's subtle creaminess and balanced acidity, it's just the right accompaniment to your meal. 

Recipe by Fort Ross Estate Chef John Vong


 1lb celery root, peeled and diced 1’’

1lb Yukon potato, peeled and diced 1’’

2 large shallots, small diced

1 cup white wine

2 sprigs fresh thyme

1 tablespoon celery seed

2 teaspoon whole cardamom

6 black peppercorns, whole

3 sprigs fresh flat leaf parsley

2 quarts vegetable stock

½ cup heavy cream

2 tablespoon unsalted butter

2 tablespoon olive oil

¼ cup crème fraiche

Celery leaves to garnish

Kosher salt to taste


1. Make a bouquet garni by tying up thyme, celery seed, cardamom, peppercorn, and parsley in a cheesecloth. Set aside.

2. Heat a 6-quart stock pot to medium heat. Add celery root, potatoes, shallots, and olive oil. Season lightly with kosher salt. Sweat vegetables for about 10 minutes, stirring often until shallots turn translucent. 

3. Add wine to deglaze. Reduce for a few minutes until wine reduces by half

4. Add vegetable stock and bouquet garni and bring to a simmer. Simmer for about 20 minutes until celery root is fork tender.

5. Remove bouquet garni. Put soup in a blender with the butter, and blend until smooth. Pour soup through a strainer into a clean stock pot. Bring to a simmer. Add cream and stir. Season with kosher salt.

6. Ladle soup into a bowl. Garnish with a dollop of crème fraiche and celery leaves.

Pair with our 2019 Chardonnay »

Why It Works 

The body of our 2019 Chardonnay is rich enough to match the creaminess of the soup, while fresh, balanced acidity prevent it from being too heavy. Touches of baking spice from the oak play up the cardamom note, and ripe notes of apple, peach, and pear complement the earthier flavors of the celeriac. 

Time Posted: Jan 10, 2023 at 10:00 AM Permalink to 2019 Chardonnay & Celeriac Soup with Cardamom and Crème Fraiche Permalink
Fort Ross
January 7, 2023 | Fort Ross

2018 The Terraces Pinot Noir & Chicken Adobo

Winter 2023 selections: Chicken Adobo

Add some variety to your cooking with this zingy recipe for chicken thighs. Open a bottle of the 2018 The Terraces Pinot Noir along with it and you're in for a great night! 

Recipe by Dan Goldberg via Sunset Magazine


1 tablespoon vegetable oil

6 bone-in, skinless chicken thighs

3 cloves garlic, minced

2/3 cup apple cider vinegar

1/3 cup soy sauce

1 teaspoon whole black peppercorns

1 bay leaf


1. Heat oil in a medium frying pan over medium-high heat. Add chicken and cook until lightly browned, about 5 minutes, then turn over and cook an additional 5 minutes. Transfer chicken to a plate and set aside.

2. Pour off all but 1 tbsp. of pan drippings and return pan to low heat. Add garlic and sauté until soft, about 1 minute. Add remaining ingredients and stir to incorporate. Return chicken to pan and cook, covered, for 20 minutes.

3. Uncover, increase heat to medium-low and cook 15 to 20 minutes more, occasionally spooning sauce over chicken, until sauce thickens a bit and chicken is tender and nicely glazed with sauce. Remove bay leaf before eating.

Pair with our 2018 The Terraces Pinot Noir »

Why It Works 

The wild berry and plum flavors from our 2018 The Terraces Pinot Noir energize the tanginess of the chicken thighs, making for a vibrant dining experience.

Time Posted: Jan 7, 2023 at 4:55 AM Permalink to 2018 The Terraces Pinot Noir & Chicken Adobo Permalink
Fort Ross
January 7, 2023 | Fort Ross

2019 "FRV" Pinot Noir & Gnocchi with Roast Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

Winter 2023 selections: Gnocchi with Roast Chicken, Bacon, and Kale

This recipe is an easy go-to for a weeknight. Paired with our 2019 "FRV" Pinot Noir, it's a lovely way to enjoy a cozy night in. 

Recipe by Chandra Ram via Food and Wine Magazine


1 (6-ounce) bunch Lacinato kale

6 thick-cut bacon slices

1 small (about 8-ounce) red onion, thinly sliced (about 2 cups)

1 (1-pound) whole rotisserie chicken, pulled into 1-inch pieces (about 3 cups)

1 pound potato gnocchi, or one (1-pound) package refrigerated or frozen potato gnocchi

1 tablespoon grated lemon zest (from 2 lemons)

½ teaspoon fine sea salt

½ teaspoon black pepper

½ ounce Parmesan cheese, shaved (about 1/4 cup)


1. Remove stems from kale, and chop stems (you should have about 3/4 cup); chop kale leaves (you should have about 6 cups). Set chopped stems and leaves aside until ready to use.

2. Cook bacon in a large skillet over medium until crispy, about 8 minutes, turning halfway through cooking time. Remove skillet from heat; do not wipe clean. Transfer bacon to a paper towel-lined plate; let stand until cooled, about 5 minutes. Cut into 1/2-inch pieces; set aside.

3. Heat bacon drippings in skillet over medium. Add onion and kale stems; cook, stirring occasionally, until onion is softened and kale stems are lightly browned, about 5 minutes. Stir in kale leaves, and cook until wilted, 2 to 3 minutes. Add chicken, and toss with onion and kale; cook, stirring occasionally, until heated through, about 2 minutes.

4. While onion and kale are cooking, bring a large pot of boiling salted water to a boil over medium-high; add gnocchi, and boil until gnocchi float to the surface, about 3 minutes. Drain well. Add gnocchi to chicken mixture in skillet, and toss. Stir in lemon zest, salt, pepper, and reserved bacon. Divide gnocchi mixture evenly among 4 bowls, and top evenly with Parmesan.

Pair with our 2019 "FRV" Pinot Noir »

Why It Works 

Our 2019 "FRV" Pinot Noir maintains its youthful, fruity highlights, that add pleasant contrast to the richness of the dish. Developing aromas of earthiness mingle with the smokiness of the bacon and chicken, creating a pleasant harmony with every bite.

Time Posted: Jan 7, 2023 at 4:30 AM Permalink to 2019 Permalink