Nestled on a sunny coastal ridge, overlooking the Pacific Ocean a mile below, Fort Ross Vineyards is one of the closest, if not the closest, vineyard to the ocean in all of California. From the vineyard, visitors can see the breaking surf and the misty silhouettes of Bodega Head and Pt. Reyes far below. Fort Ross’s high elevation above the coastal fog and its proximity to the ocean provide a gentle, sunny and temperate climate that has proved to be very favorable for the slow and even ripening of Burgundian varietals.
Fort Ross Vineyard is a “True Sonoma Coast” vineyard. The Tasting Room, designed in the vernacular of the rustic barns that dot Sonoma County, has a steep roof made from corrugated Corten steel oxidized to an earthy hue with three cupolas perched on the top. Adjoining the main building is a classic tall water tower that houses the stairs leading to the cellar below and the offices above. The shingles that cover the walls of the building are reddish brown and mirror the bark of the surrounding Madrone trees.
In front of the building is a long wooden pergola that is planted with heirloom climbing roses. The garden is filled with swaying grasses and the driveway travels around a circular stonewall that delineates a Botanical garden that is being planted with Proteas. From the Tasting Room there are panoramic views of the Pacific Ocean framed by tall Redwood forests and golden meadows.