Fortress Vineyards

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 Read more »

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Popular wines by Fortress Vineyards

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Varietals Produced by Fortress Vineyards View all

  • Chenin Blanc

    History of the grape: Modern day French oenologist Pierre Galet states Chenin Blanc has been in France at least since...

  • Sémillon

    History of the grape: Little is documented about the early years of this grape, which is surprising due to its distin...

  • Chardonnay

    British wine writer and critic, Jancis Robinson, once noted that throughout the 80’s and 90’s in the United States, C...

  • Syrah

    The irony here is that Syrah’s origins could give Carmen Sandiego a run for her international wallet. Syrah’s deepest...

  • Sauvignon Blanc

    Sauvignon Blanc is widely grown in California -- at over 15,000 acres, it’s now the third most planted variety -- and...

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Fortress Vineyards on Snooth

  • Dessert wines rarely seem to get their due. The idea of finishing one’s ... ... 89ptsFind out more.2007 Fortress Vineyards Finale Red Hills Lake County Semillon 12.5%Semillon, along with Sauvignon Blanc, forms the backbone of the greatest dessert wines of them all: the Sauternes and Barsacs of Bordeaux. In this example you’ll find the typical... Read More

    From the article 7 Sweet Dessert Wines


  • Fortress Finale Semillon Desert 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Creamy, buttery aromas of apple and pear. Very sweet wine with a bit of baked apple, molasses and caramel. Mostly I taste a lot of sugar. Nice if you like this style. Read More

    Wine review by mark


  • Fortress Petite Sirah Red Hills Lake County 2008

    Snoothrank:

    Rich, earthy, bold. Fantastic with any earthy rich red protein dinner. Fantastic Read More

    Wine review by jbattaglia2


  • Fortress Vineyards Red Hills Lake Petite Sirah 2007

    Snoothrank:

    On the nose roasted chicken, but tastes of almonds, woody, somewhat vegetal. Read More

    Wine review by dsaha


  • Hello all -My wife and I will be going on our first visit to Italy in this coming September.  We'll be staying in Venice, Cinque Terre, Pienza (half-way between Montalcino and Montepulciano), and of course, Rome.Neither of us have much experience with Italian wines, but would like to learn as much as possible before going on our trip.  Can anyon... Read More

    Forum post in the topic First visit to Italy


  • Fortress Vineyards Red Hills Lake Petite Sirah 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Smoked oak and cherry on the nose, with a sweet acidic body and a dry finish. Mostly oak-centric flavors. Read More

    Wine review by Chris Carpita


  • Fortress Vineyards Red Hills Lake Petite Sirah 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Oaky with a light finish, a hint of cherry and orange, sweet Read More

    Wine review by amn2110


  • Fortress Vineyards Red Hills Lake Petite Sirah 2007

    Snoothrank:

    Lots of wood on the nose over chunky, earthy, plummy Petite Sirah fruit with notes of allspice and charcoal. A bit of orange juice concentrate right up front is joined by licorice and black pepper on the mid-palate. This shows plenty of ripe tannin and balanced acidity but is less about fruit and more about chocolate, slight herb, and wood spice... Read More

    Wine review by Gregory Dal Piaz


  •  Traveling across the Catalan border into Southern France, we encounter Rousillon. One of the most unique wines of this region is Maury, a type of sweet vins doux naturels that reflects the winemaking tradition that sets Rousillon apart from the more northern regions of France. Maury wines are produced from the Grenache grape variety, ranging in... Read More

    Forum post in the topic Maury Wine, the New Face of...


  • Tenuta Valdipiatta is a property full of surprises, the first of which is the road one takes to get there. Well, let me clarify that: If, like me, you assume you know where you are and where you’re going, you might end up on a distinctly rough road that leads, via the vineyard roads, right to the Tenuta. Now, this road -- the wrong road -- i... Read More

    From the article The Wines of Tenuta Valdipiatta


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