Do you like being the first at something? Well, the Fort Ross-Seaview Winegrowers are holding the Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival on Saturday, October 26th, their first Wine Festival to celebrate Sonoma County’s newest AVA. This is your opportunity to meet and chat with the grapegrowers, wineries, and winemakers who produce and vinify the grapes grown in this appellation based on the steep ridges of the Sonoma Coast. The days’ events will take place at the historic Fort Ross State Park (19005 Coast Highway One, Jenner, 707-847-3437) on a terrace with breathtaking views of the Pacific Ocean.
The Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival offers attendees two choices – a Wine Tasting event featuring limited production wines from the Fort Ross-Seaview appellation between 1:00 and 4:00 pm for $35 per person, or a Grand Luncheon between 12:00 and 2:30 pm followed by admission to the Grand Tasting for $95 per person. Ticket prices include parking/State Parks entrance fees, and will also allow guests to attend the Fort Ross Harvest Festival happening at the same time at the Park. When you are ready to purchase your tickets, please go here.
Participating wineries at the Wine Tasting Event include Del Dotto Vineyards, Fort Ross Vineyard & Winery, Martinelli Winery, Pahlmeyer, Siduri Wines, Tin Barn Vineyards, Wild Hog Vineyard, Williams Selyem, and more. Grand Luncheon attendees will start their festivities with a 4-course meal featuring food from Andrew and Liya Lin Truong of Terrapin Creek; Jeff Riley of Duck Club Restaurant at the Bodega Bay Lodge; Barbara Hom, Executive Chef at Fort Ross Vineyard; and local pastry chef Jenny Malicki.
If you attend the Luncheon, your afternoon will start with a Rosé reception followed by these courses:
- Potato and Cheese Soup with Estero Gold Cheese, paired with 2006 Martinelli Library Reserve Chardonnay
- Wild King Salmon on Creamed Spinach with Delicata Squash and Tarragon-Laced Bread Crumbs, paired with 2009 Fort Ross Reserve Pinot Noir
- Five-Star Anise Tea Smoked Liberty Duck Breast with Cherry Berry Sauce, Forbidden Rice, Corn, and Butternut Squash Pilaf, paired with 2010 Del Dotto Pinot Noir Sonoma Coast.
- Apple and Pear Galette with Salted Caramel Sauce
Advance ticket purchase for the Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival is strongly encouraged, as the luncheon has very limited seating available and tickets must be purchased by October 16th. If you need to, you may be able to purchase tickets for the Wine Tasting on the day of the event, but the price will be $20 per person that day and you will also be responsible for any associated parking and entrance fees so you should just go ahead and click here to get your tickets now.
The backdrop for the Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Festival is the 2013 Fort Ross Harvest Festival, featuring the traditional arts, crafts, and music of the early settlers of Fort Ross between 10 am and 6 pm that day. The Fort Ross Conservancy promotes the understanding of the natural and cultural history of Fort Ross, first settled by the Kashaya and later by the Russian American Company. During the Harvest Festival, the traditions of both the Kashaya and the early Russian settlers will be celebrated with arts, crafts, and music.
The Fort Ross Harvest Festival offers a wide variety of activities suitable for all ages and interests:
- Song and Dance with Kedry and Kitka
- Apple Harvesting in the Historic Orchard
- Working Demonstration of replica Russian-Style Windmill
- Su-Nu-Nu-Shinai Kashaya Pomo Dancers
- Cannon Firing
- Horse and Wagon Ride, and other Children’s Activities
- Samples of Heirloom Apples and Apple Products
- Food Trucks with Seasonal Fare for Sale
Work on the AVA petition to establish Fort Ross-Seaview as a recognized appellation began in 1999 and it was submitted to the TTB (Alcohol and Tobacco Tax and Trade Bureau) in 2003. The petition was approved in December 2011, and there are currently 555 acres of grapes growing in this region of 27,500 acres. Most of the vineyards in this AVA are located along the Pacific Coastline and are at elevations between 920 to 1,800 feet. The Fort Ross-Seaview Winegrowers Association was formed in April 2013 and their purposes include increasing awareness of the high quality wines being produced from the grapes grown here, and the promotion of the AVA to the media, trade, and public.
If you were wondering, please know that Fort Ross is a California State Park, not a national park, and their park operations are not affected by the current US government shutdown.