By this point in my 30 Wineries in 30 Days Journey, I was getting a little exhausted. While this may be winery number 21 according to my blog, I’ve actually visited 40 different wineries at this point – and one of those I visited twice! It’s a rough life! However, the majority of these visits are appointments that are private, one-on-one tastings that last between 60 and 90 minutes. Some have lasted as long as 3 hours. They typically include tours of the wine facility and in depth discussions around their wine making techniques. I’ve woken up a few days and thought – I don’t feel like going wine tasting! But I always enjoy it when I arrive.
So, when this day was approaching, I canceled my appointment for the day (a couple of days earlier). I figured I would just do whatever made me happy. I had enough tasting appointments that I could certainly still hit and blog about 30 wineries (and then some). It was a nice day so I thought I might drive up the coast with the tops off of my Jeep. And then I realized that it might be the perfect opportunity to visit Fort Ross Vineyard along the way. It’s the only tasting room that’s located in the Fort Ross Seaview AVA. Other wineries like Flowers and Hirsch have tasting rooms in Healdsburg. And, technically, Fort Ross Vineyard is appointment only AND I’ve never been there! I’d still have a qualifying winery.
Like I mentioned, the drive was gorgeous! You drive up the coast from Jenner then up through the forest. Having just rained the day before, the smell was glorious! I snapped the photo below just after driving through their second gate on the property (no codes or calls needed – the gates open automatically).
You eventually pull up to the winery. The photo isn’t the greatest due to the position of the sun.
It was a pretty small tasting list – just four wines of pretty small production wines. The first was their 2017 Bicentennial Chardonnay. It had a nice amount of acidity, but was nothing like the Chardonnays I’d tasted over at Littorai yesterday. We then moved to a side-by-side tasting of Pinot Noir – 2015 “Top of Land” and their 2014 “Reserve”. I definitely preferred the Reserve Pinot Noir. And, I was excited about some variety with the last wine – their 2014 Pinotage.
If you’re ever out that way, I highly recommend a visit to Fort Ross Vineyard to get a better feel of the coastal terrain. It’s a gorgeous drive with some nice wines at the end. The tasting offered no extra bells and whistles. It’s a standing tasting at their tasting bar. But you’ll enjoy a friendly staff and great views!
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