Located in the Santa Clara Valley AVA, Fortino Winery has a beautiful tasting room and picnic area. They sell the majority of there wine through their tasting room as well as a number of fine foods and gifts.
Gino Fortino is the winemaker and has been working at the family business since he was nine years old. He clearly has a great knowledge of his land, and has learned a lot from the generations that preceded him.
Fortino’s Chardonnay is barrel aged and made in the big, California style. It has flavors of citrus and tropical fruits. The grapes used to make this wine were grown in the family’s San Martin estate vineyard.
Sauvignon Blanc is another major white varietal that they make. The grapes were sourced from Monterey County. One of Fortino’s most popular white wines is their Riesling. It has 1.8% residual sugar which mingles very nicely with the grape’s naturally high acidity.
The winery also makes the ancient Carignane varietal which is originally from France. Many Carignanes I have tasted are a bit robust and even abrasive for my tastes. But Fortino makes a very tasty version of this grape which is big and spicy, but definitely not harsh. This wine has an amazingly full bodied texture and a very long finish.
Fortino is one of only a handful of California wineries that produce Charbono. There are less than 100 acres of this grape planted in the entire state. This wine pays homage to the family’s Italian heritage. The winery also makes Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Zinfandel, and a couple of sparkling wines.