Winemaker Gary and Proprietor Ellen Luchtel, husband and wife, followed their "hobby gone wild" and gave up life in The City (San Francisco) to purchase land in the Napa Valley where they could grow their own grapes to pursue their dreams of hand crafting outstanding wines. Their love of wines began in college where they first met, and grew as they explored the world of wines. Ellen recalls how Gary would bring her a mystery bottle (carefully wrapped so she couldn't see it) for her to sample and identify. As they developed their skills, first as home winemakers, then as a small bonded winery, to a joint commercial winemaking venture with Surh Luchtel (since retired) to finally planting their own vineyards and creating their signature brand-Fortunati, they have enthusiastically shared their passion for the wine life with the many wonderful friends they encounter. Today, Gary continues to meticulously oversee the vineyards and winemaking while Ellen manages the business operations, small staff and greets guests with the warm hospitality they are known for.