Fortino Winery was first established in 1970 when Ernest and Marie Fortino purchased a vineyard that had been growing since the early 30’s. Ernest was drawn to the vineyard because the surrounding land was highly reminiscent of his hometown, Calabria, Italy.
The original vineyards were all dry-farmed and comprised of Ruby Cabernet, Cabernet, Carignan, and Grenache grapes.
In 1975 Ernest produced an exceptional Ruby Cabernet, which won Double Gold in the Los Angeles County fair and lead to an article about the winery in the New York Times.
In 1995 Ernest passed on the responsibilities of running the winery to his son, Gino, and daughter, Teri. Over the years the vineyards have expanded to about 50 acres—half of which are still dry-farmed to produce flavor-intense grapes.