From our mountain vineyard that overlooks the Sonoma Coast in the Fort Ross-Seaview American Viticultural Area, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery produces limited quantities of single vineyard, Estate grown, cool-climate Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, and Pinotage. With spectacular views of the Pacific Ocean less than one mile away, the vineyard is divided into 32 separate blocks, one-half to two acres in size, that range in elevation from 1700 down to 1200 feet above sea level. Owners, Lester and Linda Schwartz with their small crew began preparing the 52-acre vineyard in 1994. It took them 4 years of preparation before they could begin planting. The year 2000 marked the first vintage from the Fort Ross Vineyard.
92 Points - Wine Spectator
Powerful, with savory richness to the mix of intense fresh cut apple and pear flavors. Crunchy acidity fills the finish, which features buttery hints to dried sage and tarragon accents. Drink now through 2025.
92 Points – Wine Advocate
The 2018 Chardonnay Estate has a restrained nose of baker's yeast, Bosc pears, hay and acacia with a nutty undercurrent. The medium-bodied palate is savory with opposing tanginess and a refreshing finish.
92 Points - Wine Enthusiast
Robust in oak with a light touch of acidity, this estate-grown white is coastal in character, with firm supple tannin and a lasting freshness. Brioche, pineapple and toasted hazelnut combine around a rich note of honey.
91 Points - Jeb Dunnuck
The base 2018 Chardonnay Fort Ross Vineyard is impressive, offering lots of honeyed orchard fruits and white currant fruits as well as some spice and brioche aromas and flavors. It's rich, medium-bodied, balanced, and simply an outstanding effort to enjoy over the coming 2-4 years.
★★★★+ EXCELLENT - Ronn Wiegand MS/MW, Restaurant Wine
Fine and intense in aroma/flavor with notes of white peach, pineapple, roasted nut, lemon peel, and toasty oak; it is a crisp, full bodied Chardonnay. It shows excellent character, fine balance, and a long finish. Best version yet of this wine. Great value.
"11 Stellar Sonoma County Chardonnays to Sample Now" - Haute Living San Francisco
This Chardonnay's hazy yellow hue is evidence of subtle stirring of the lees and bottling without fining or filtration. The rounded, rich mouthfeel is intertwined with the crisp acidity and stony minerality that is an expression of the high elevation and cool coastal climate. Pretty floral aromas of lemon blossom, chamomile and honeysuckle are balanced by hints of toasted hazelnut and honeycomb. This Chardonnay will continue to evolve for many years. - Fran Miller, March 2022