Fort Ross

Sonoma County region

Platinum Series Plus Selection - 93 Pts. Wine Enthusiast

If you are familiar with the Fort Ross area of Sonoma County, you might assume that the locale is not widely noted for grape growing or the making of fine varietal wines. This month’s Platinum Series Plus! Selection, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, would definitely prove that initial theory wrong. Lester and Linda Schwartz, owners of Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, are both natives of South Africa, and met at the University of Cape Town where they were both students in the 1960’s. Cape Town’s close proximity to South Africa’s famed Stellenbosch Valley introduced the pair to wine country and they discovered a mutual interest in wine. After settling in San Francisco many years later, the couple decided to enter the wine business in 1988. They found a breathtaking spot just above Sonoma County’s Fort Ross and decided to plant some vineyards on the mountainous terrain. It took years of testing a multitude of different grape varieties, and it seemed that the Burgundian grapes were best suited to the cool climate region. Lester and Linda released their first wines (a Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in 2000, and haven’t looked back since. Today, Fort Ross Vineyard and Winery has been featured at the prestigious James Beard House in New York and the industry plaudits have been many and rewarding. We are honored to introduce our Platinum Series Plus! members to this outstanding pioneer winery.