Fort Ross-Seaview Wine Tours… where the ocean and wine country meet. In one direction the Pacific Ocean crashes against the shoreline. In another, you can gaze into the forest, where thousand-year-old redwoods tower above the fog line. Sipping wine in Fort Ross-Seaview AVA is an experience unto itself.
With jaw-dropping views of the Pacific Ocean 920-1800 feet below, the Fort Ross-Seaview AVA isn’t quite like any other growing regions … which is exactly what attracted its intrepid vintner pioneers. Breathtaking views of redwood forests, rugged peaks, wind-swept coast, and seashell-studded vineyards amply reward visitors willing to make the trek up to these vineyards in the sky.
The region’s craggy mountain terrain, steep slopes and ominous trenches present real challenges for wine growers, but because the area is located above the fog line, the grapes that do survive here enjoy a warmer, drier climate than other Sonoma appellations. This high elevation also means there are few sources of water; vines have to rely on heavy fall and winter rains to carry them through the year, as local farmers can irrigate only minimally in spring and summer.
Fort Ross-Seaview’s unique combination of clear, fog-free skies and coastal mountain soils creates a one-of-a kind ecosystem in which cool climate varietals like Pinot Noir and Chardonnay thrive. While these two varietals are the most common, you can also find Pinotage, Roussanne, Syrah, Zinfandel and Cabernet plantings in some areas. Although the AVA itself spans more than 27,500 acres, only 555 are suitable for viticulture, which further ensures that wines from this appellation will remain extremely rare.
A trip to Fort Ross-Seaview is ideal for visitors seeking the remote frontiers of winegrowing, where the wilderness still holds sway, and each vintage is an epic struggle against the elements. The extreme beauty and vertiginous perspective of these brave mountain vineyards make the area a deeply memorable destination, with truly remarkable wines.