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Winemaking Philosophy

Winemaker Gary "Lucky" Luchtel has been refining and practicing his winemaking techniques for almost two decades, gleaned from wine travels locally and internationally, as well as hands on experience. His knowledge and understanding of the grapes he grows and tastes allows him to develop each vintage to its fullest potential. Gary doesn't believe that "it's good enough" is ever good enough for Fortunati wines, and he is always striving to improve and perfect both his vines and his wines. There are easier ways to make wine, but Gary's goal isn't to make the easiest wines, just amazing ones.

Careful attention to all aspects of creation, from growing our own fruit (and working closely with the handful of select vineyards we use to source some of our varietals), hand picking at the optimal ripeness during the cool of the night, to using open-bin fermenters for our red wines and punching them down individually by hand-are examples of our relentless attention to crafting quality wines. Intentionally limiting production to small lots allows us to focus on and develop the distintive characters of each vintage and varietal. To us, this is the definition of a "hand crafted" wine: devoted winemaker using meticulous craftmanship to create ulta-premium wines with a distinct house style.