Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery
In 1994, Lester and Linda Schwartz established Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery. Initially planting 16 different varietals, they have since focused their efforts primarily on Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Production has expanded from 100 cases to 2,500 cases since the winery was founded.
Lester and Linda Schwartz own one of the closest vineyard sites to the Pacific Ocean in all of California. Although it is typically difficult to ripen grapes in such proximity to the ocean, Fort Ross’ vines have a particularly elevated and sunny microclimate.
The vineyard is broken into 28 distinct blocks that are planted between 1,200 and 1,700 feet above sea level. Clones and rootstocks were selected very carefully to naturally limit the quantity and increase the quality of grapes produced each year. Yields are generally between 1 and 3 tons per acres, though at times they are even less.
Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery produces Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinotage, and Rose. In 2002, the winery made 3 different Pinots including the Fort Ross Vineyard Pinot Noir, Fort Ross Vineyard Reserve Pinot Noir, and Symposium (96% Pinot Noir and 4% Pinotage).