Fortress Sauvignon Blanc Red Hills Lake County NV
Gary and Barbara Snider’s passion for grape growing began early in their relationship while both were pursuing degrees at UC Davis. In the intervening years between college, marriage, raising two children, and purchasing their first vineyard property in 1988, Gary pursued a corporate career in San Francisco while Barbara taught at the college level and later completed law school. They both cont... Read more
Gary and Barbara Snider’s passion for grape growing began early in their relationship while both were pursuing degrees at UC Davis. In the intervening years between college, marriage, raising two children, and purchasing their first vineyard property in 1988, Gary pursued a corporate career in San Francisco while Barbara taught at the college level and later completed law school. They both continued to manage full time careers while developing their hillside vineyard in Knights Valley. Their son, Tim, also learned the business “from the ground up” while working on the vineyard during the summers while finishing high school and college. After 10 years of growing and selling grapes from the Knights Valley vineyard to various Napa Valley wineries, the Sniders began looking for new possibilities in Lake County in the area that is now known as the Red Hills Lake County AVA. They saw great potential for growing high premium grapes on a mountain vineyard. They purchased several contiguous parcels of land on a ridge on Mt. Konocti overlooking Clear Lake and in 1998, and using their years of research and experience, began development of the high-altitude mountain vineyard. They later named the vineyard the Fortress Vineyard for the many rocks cleared and pushed along the side of the mountain forming medieval-like rock walls throughout the property. After evaluating the first few crops from the Fortress Vineyard, the Sniders realized that the fruit from this vineyard had distinctive qualities and with the 2004 harvest, made their first wine under the Fortress Vineyards label – a Sauvignon Blanc made 100% from the Musque Clone. Nils Venge who is well known as an outstanding Napa winemaker began consulting for Fortress Vineyards in 2007. With this change, the Sniders moved their winemaking to Napa. 2009 has proven to be a year of development as the Sniders have recently introduced three new wines made from the 2007 harvest. In addition to the Sauvignon Blanc wine they have been making, they offer Novateur, an off-dry contemporary wine made from a blend of Semillon and Sauvignon Blanc, Finale, a late harvest 100% Semillon made in the traditional Sauternes style, and a Petite Sirah – all made from grapes grown on the Fortress Vineyard. Read less
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