Cart 0 items: $0.00
My Account  |  Log In

Fort Ross Vineyard

Fort Ross
February 3, 2021 | Fort Ross

Fort Ross Vineyard Featured in Sonoma Magazine

12 Sonoma Wineries to Visit Right Now

Sunny days are coming. Here's where to sip wine outdoors.

Make a reservation to visit our Estate Tasting Room on the wild Sonoma Coast this Valentine's Day.


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. 

Tastings are available by reservation online or by calling us at (707) 847-3460.

FEATURED: Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery

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.

Read the full article»

Shop all wines»

Time Posted: Feb 3, 2021 at 12:00 PM Permalink to Fort Ross Vineyard Featured in Sonoma Magazine 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
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
Fort Ross
June 1, 2020 | Fort Ross

Strawberry Tapenade

This fun twist on tapenade can be served on its own with tortilla chips, or can top salmon, pork or chicken. We recommend a glass of our Bicentennial Pinot Noir with any of these!


Strawberry Tapenade

by Chef Stephanie Izard of Girl & the Goat


3/4 cup White Asparagus, peeled and sliced

1/4 cup Spring Onions, thin sliced

2 Tbsp Sorrel, rough chopped

2 Tbsp Parsely, rough chopped

1 Tbsp Cilantro, rough chopped

1 Tbsp Basil, rough chopped

1/4 cup Nicoise Olives, rough chopped

1/4 cup  Fish Sauce

1/3 cup Red Wine Vinegar

1/2 cup Extra Virgin Olive Oil

1 1/2 cups Strawberries, thin sliced


1. Mix all ingredients together, except strawberries. Add strawberries when you are ready to serve with your favorite grilled meat or fish.


Time Posted: Jun 1, 2020 at 12:18 PM Permalink to Strawberry Tapenade Permalink
Fort Ross
June 1, 2020 | Fort Ross

Little Gem Salad with Creamy Herb Vinaigrette

Nothing says summertime like a cold Rosé paired with a beautiful, fresh salad. The signature minerality of Fort Ross Vineyard comes through in our Rosé, complementing the creaminess of the dressing. 


Little Gem Salad with Creamy Herb Vinaigrette 

By Chef Laurence Jossel at NOPA

Serves 4-6


2 egg yolks

1/2 teaspoon minced garlic

1 tablespoon Dijon mustard

1/2 teaspoon minced anchovies

1 1/2 tablespoons muscatel vinegar (can also use white balsamic)

1 1/2 teaspoons Champagne vinegar

1/4 cup cream

2 tablespoons extra virgin olive oil

Pinch of salt

2 tablespoons chopped fresh tarragon

2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley

2 tablespoons chopped fresh mint

2 tablespoons chopped fresh basil

2 tablespoons chopped fresh thyme

2 teaspoons lemon juice

4-6 heads of Little Gem lettuces, washed cored, and separated into leaves

3 small heads red endive, washed, cored, and separated into spears

1/2 cup breadcrumbs, toasted until crisp in olive oil

1/2 cup grated Serena cheese, or any other hard grating cheese, like Dry Jack or Parmigiano-Reggiano

Chopped chives, for garnish

Chopped chervil, for garnish (optional)


1. For the dressing: place the yolks, garlic, mustard, and anchovies in a blender. Process on high speed until fully incorporated. Add vinegars and blend together. Next, add cream and process for a few more seconds. Slowly drizzle in oil with the motor running. Season to taste with salt.

2. Place salad dressing in a bowl and stir in all of the chopped herbs. Finish with lemon juice and stir to incorporate.

3. To assemble: place lettuces in a large bowl. Toss with dressing until evenly coated (we even suggest massaging it into the leaves so puddles don't form in the endive spears). Divide among 4-6 plates and sprinkle each with a generous amount of breadcrumbs, cheese, chives, and chervil, if using.



Time Posted: Jun 1, 2020 at 12:11 PM Permalink to Little Gem Salad with Creamy Herb Vinaigrette 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