David Rossi leaves the corporate food industry behind to develop premium, balanced, small-lot Pinot Noir
Founded in 2005, Fulcrum Wines is the brainchild of David and Christinna Rossi, a husband and wife team dedicated to crafting world-class Pinot Noir from various vineyards and appellations in Northern California. Since the inaugural vintage, the Rossis have consistently earned prestigious medals and 90+ ratings for their efforts. What makes that statement even more impressive is the fact that David Rossi never received professional winemaking help (he is completely self-taught) and that he and his wife manage the business from their home in Atlantic Highlands, New Jersey - across the country from their California winery operation.
David Rossi was born and raised in southern Arizona, where he grew up working various jobs in his family's restaurant business. Upon receiving his degree in finance from the University of Arizona and an MBA from Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, he pursued the corporate food marketing industry and worked for such major companies as Schwans, Tyson Foods, and H.J. Heinz.
Although David had been cooking and working in the food industry his entire life, winemaking was a field that always intrigued him. While in Pittsburgh, he took a local winemaking course that piqued his interest and started home winemaking in his basement. What began as a hobby quickly became an obsession. By 2005, David's basement had become a wine laboratory, his bathtub was a depository for oak barrels, and he was purchasing grapes from California and Washington. He had also garnered countless medals from national amateur winemaking competitions. He finally decided to pursue winemaking professionally and Fulcrum Wines was born.
The Rossis named their winery Fulcrum, which by definition is "a point on which an object balances." This word, and its notion of balance, is not only critical in producing great Pinot Noir, but it also represents David Rossi's winemaking style to craft wines with a seamless balance of fruit expression, acid, tannin, alcohol, oak influence, and age-worthiness. He takes an intimate and exacting winemaking approach to achieve this, and the results certainly speak for themselves.
David's goal at Fulcrum Wines is to make Pinot Noirs from the finest vineyards, without being constrained by regions or boundaries. His winemaking is done at a custom crush facility in Napa Valley, and his fruit comes from Grand-Cru caliber vineyards in the Anderson Valley, Russian River Valley, Sonoma Coast, Carneros, and Chalone regions. David and Christinna travel to California several times a year to oversee the business and check in on the various contracted vineyards.
To create luscious wines with balance, complexity and depth of flavor for which Fulcrum has become known, David generally selects slightly warmer vineyard sites,in very cool regions. These locations are warm enough to produce perfectly ripe fruit, but cool enough to allow the extended hang time that builds the complex flavors David seeks. He is very particular about the vineyards he works with and even goes as far as to select the specific blocks and rows of a vineyard he wants to source from.
David Rossi is about as hands-on as a winemaker can be, as he oversees every step of the process, including loading and hauling the fruit to the winery himself. He is truly dedicated to his craft and today has become one of the great Pinot Noir specialists of California. We look forward to Fulcrum's growth and David's future endeavors.
Map of the area
David Rossi - Owner & Winemaker
David Rossi is the incredibly talented, self taught winemaker behind Fulcrum Wines. David came to his craft as a home winemaker, a path that allowed him to develop his style with complete freedom, and without the commercially driven dictates that young winemakers often face when starting out in an established winery cellar setting.
To create luscious wines with the balance, complexity and depth of flavor for which Fulcrum is known, David generally selects slightly warmer sites, in very cool regions. These locations are warm enough to produce perfectly ripe fruit, but cool enough to allow the extended hang time that builds the complex flavors David seeks. David is very particular about the vineyards he works with and even goes as far as to select the specific blocks and rows of a vineyard he wants to source from.
The Anderson Valley’s Donnelly Creek Vineyard is managed by renowned winegrower Mary Elke. Mary has been farming Pinot Noir since 1978 and planted the Donnelly Creek Vineyard in 1991. Like many of David Rossi’s favorite vineyards, Donnelly Creek is a warmer site in a cool region, which allows the fruit to achieve the desired level of ripeness, while still ensuring poise and restraint. Donnelly Creek Vineyard is composed of creek side blocks of vines, bordered by steeply terraced vines, and is planted to several different clones of Pinot Noir.
The fruit from this site is incredibly compelling with characteristic notes of dark cherry and earth. The Anderson Valley AVA is located in Mendocino County, California. It was established in 1983 and is primarily known for its Pinot Noir and sparkling wine production.