Jenner, Calif. (December 6, 2017) – Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery has announced the release of Sea Slopes, a new wine brand that sources fruit from top Sonoma Coast vineyards and is produced for expanded distribution. The first wine released under the new Sea Slopes label is a Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir. A Sea Slopes Sonoma Coast Chardonnay will be introduced in February of 2018.
Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery has achieved critical acclaim for its limited-production, estate-grown wines. The majority of these wines are sold direct to consumer at their tasting room and to select accounts. With the introduction of Sea Slopes, Fort Ross now offers a line of high quality wines to be enjoyed upon release that will be available for broader distribution at an approachable price point.
The Sea Slopes name was previously used by Fort Ross for a limited-production Pinot Noir. Owners Lester and Linda Schwartz have now decided to use the name for their new brand because it evokes the dramatic, cool climate of the Sonoma Coast.
“With Sea Slopes, we aim to capture the essence of the Sonoma Coast. These wines are at once approachable and eminently worthy of the quality standards we have established,” noted Lester Schwartz.
The inaugural wine, Sea Slopes 2015 Pinot Noir ($35), was made by longtime Fort Ross winemaker Jeff Pisoni. This wine has a profile that is both elegant and fruit-forward. Pisoni relied on native yeasts for fermentation and then aged the wine in 100 percent French oak barrels with 30 percent of it new. It was bottled unfined and unfiltered to preserve the wine’s vitality, freshness and intense character.
Lester and Linda Schwartz established their Fort Ross Vineyard on the coastal ridges above the Pacific Ocean near the historic Russian settlement of Fort Ross. The year 2000 marked the first vintage they produced Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Pinotage from their 53-acre vineyard. The vineyard lies within the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA, which they were instrumental in establishing.