Fogline Vineyards is located on the Northern ridge of Sonoma Mountain in the Petaluma Gap region at the edge of the Sonoma Coast Appellation, high above the Pacific Ocean. The winery’s goal is to make wines from fruit grown above the fog line. Vines at that elevation enjoy moderately hot days above the cool fog that blankets the valley below. This gives the vines more sunshine, allowing them to achieve ripeness at lower sugar levels, which in turn produces more balanced wines at lower alcohol levels.
Created in 2009, co-owners Brent Bessire and Evan Pontoriero turned their individual lifelong passion for wine into reality after many years as amateur winemakers. Brent Bessire first discovered his ardor for wine while attending Columbia University in New York. For the next thirteen years Brent and his wife lived a transient lifestyle building multiple start up businesses all over the country. Eventually, Brent decided to combine his business acumen and love of wine by delving into the wine industry. He went to work for Clay Mauritson and Gary Farrell of Mauritson Family Winery where he learned the intricacies of winemaking.
Co-owner Evan Pontoriero inherited his passion for wine from his Italian heritage and, growing up, assisted his grandparents in making wine in the garage of their Pennsylvania home. In 1992 he moved to the Bay area to pursue his career in Computer Graphics and Animation. Over the years, while focusing on successful positions with Lucas film and Pixar, Evan also dabbled in winemaking as a hobby. He made wine from vineyards throughout Napa Valley and Sonoma County, giving him the necessary experience to create world-class wine.
Brent and Evan met while attending different wine events and eventually became friends. They attended a class on entrepreneurship in the wine industry together and, by the end of the class, had agreed to collaborate on Fogline Vineyards. The vineyards were planted in 2007 and in 2009 their first vintage was produced.