Recommended by 96%
User2926606 · 2+ years ago
There have been 17 days since we had our amazing wedding. Everyone has being complimenting our choice in venue and I felt it was time to share. This venue is wonderful. The ceremony location out by the trees was just perfect and looked awesome in photos. It was pretty windy on rehearsal night and I was a little worried but all in all the wind was much tamer on our wedding day.
Debbi, the venue coordinator knows her venue and staff well. She's on top of her stuff and had warned us about the wind so it wasn't a total surprise. She's a go getter and has to be to wrangle a whole wedding party. She at first comes off a bit tough but really she has to be to get stuff and people in the right places. Everyone had a great time and Debbi kept us on track. Honestly we had a difficult group who didn't listen well so she wrangled us well.
There are lots of awesome photo op locations even though it's a relatively small vineyard (Which is part of what we loved about it). We loved the very personal feel of the space. It's really charming. The bridal suite is a good space with a shower and bathroom but could be even better with some updated window coverings and furniture. But really we were in there for such a small amount of time it wasn't a big thing.
The food was amazing. We did the family style meal and have not stopped hearing about how delish the chicken parmesan was. Also our guests loved the almond champaign. We were able to choose the beer that was served and again Debbi knows her stuff we ordered the perfect amount of wine and beer thanks to her help.
The venue was just stunning and we really were able to use very little decorations which was awesome. Can't wait to visit it again and day dream about our amazing day. It was just perfect. I wouldn't have changed a thing.
Christin · Married on 03/14/2014
My Husband and I were very excited to choose Fortino Winery because of many reasons. To list a few we chose Fortino because of how friendly the staff is when we've been wine tasting, how beautiful the setting was for our ceremony and reception, and how Awesome Debbie Sanchez is! The winery and Debbie took great care of us. Debbie answered all of my questions I had up until it was time for our wedding and she is extremely knowledgeable because of how long she has been doing weddings. Debbie helped to make our day so special and made sure everything went off without a hitch. We are so lucky to have chosen such an amazingly special place to get married and I would recommend to anyone to check out Fortino Winery for your possible venue and work with Debbie Sanchez. Debbie Josh and I cannot thank you enough with how amzing you are! Thank you so so much!
Derek · Married on 09/28/2013
When my wife and I initially chose Fortino, it was due to the fact that it offered the best value proposition and was close to my wife's family in Gilroy. It ended up being the best decision we made during the entire wedding planning process. Fortino's event coordinator, Debbi Sanchez, is truly incredible and she is the primary reason why Fortino is such a great place to host a wedding. She stayed in contact with us regularly, proactively communicated with our vendors, and provided us with some very helpful advice which went above and beyond the expectations of an event coordinator (we didn't have a planner and she helped us to fill this gap very well). On the day of the wedding itself, the view was absolutely breath-taking. It's truly incredible how Fortino and our florist were able to transform the back patio into a wonderland of flowers, lush grass, and decorations. The staff was both friendly and attentive to our needs. Even though we had a large guest list (roughly 200), we had plenty of space and could've fit many more. Almost all of our guests danced throughout the reception thanks to a generously sized dance floor and an incredible DJ. Debbi was extremely active throughout the wedding and reception and made sure that we stayed on point. Again, her professionalism and attention to detail were highly impressive. Ah yes, and have I mentioned the wine?!? Fortino has a fantastic selection and many of their award-winning wines are on par with what you'd find in Napa or Sonoma (for a much higher price). The almond champagne is a clear standout. We had the chicken for dinner and it absolutely melted in our mouths. As I was sitting at the head table at dinner, I looked around at said to my wife, "This feels like a $100,000 wedding!!" Thanks to the reasonable prices at Fortino and in the greater Gilroy area, we spent a small fraction of that. I enthusiastically recommend Fortino Winery and Debbi Sanchez in particular!
Cody · Married on 09/14/2012
I loved this venue!! The views, the people, everything about it made our day amazing.
Leading up to the wedding, I was a little nervous about the food. No outside food vendors were permitted (same for all equipment rentals). We attended the bridal tasting in April, which allowed us to sample a number of dishes, but not all the items we had on our menu. We chose based on what sounded good, and Fortino came through with flying colors!! Our guests all complimented the food and we LOVED the family-style menu.
We also loved that the winery allowed us to purchase wine during their case sales and store it there until the wedding. Can't beat that 40% off sale!!
But more than anything else, we loved Debbi Sanchez, the event coordinator. She worked her TAIL off to help us pull off a great day. When we didn't order enough beer, she worked some magic to fix things. She had every detail covered and was such a joy to work with.
The only totally nitpicking things I can criticize are easily fixed. The aisle was way too narrow for my dad and I to walk down side-by-side, so I'm ducking behind him in all our pictures. There were a LOT of bees during dinner (not unexpected for an outdoor event!). Our wine ceremony wasn't set up, which led to a very awkward ceremony, with our officiant doing a lot of "if there WAS wine, what I would say is...." My husband was not happy that we were charged for the wine tastings our wedding party and parents did before the rehearsal (there were 12 of us), given the amount of money we spent on the wedding (I wasn't at all bothered by that -- I don't think the venue owes us wine for showing up!)...and also the tasting room's attempt to charge for water while he waited for our first look pictures (which Debbi immediately rectified).
That being said....this is a first-class establishment. The service during dinner was top-notch, and I can happily say I'd get married here all over again!
Elisabeth · Married on 08/05/2012
We had our August 5th wedding there, and it was absolutely the best day. I could not have asked for a better venue for my wedding, or a better coordinator (Debbi). She was so helpful and patient throughout the whole process. It seemed like it would be a daunting task planning the whole thing in 6 months from across the country, but she was able to answer ever question in a timely manner.
Many guests came up to us and said that it was the most beautiful wedding that they had ever been to, and were raving about the food (as a guest at many weddings in the past few years, the food can often be pretty questionable, but I would actually go there for dinner if I could). On top of that, there is the wine and the almond champagne which is to die for.
Fortino allowed us to have the wedding that we always wanted, casual, relaxed, fun and beautiful. I can't believe we had that at such a reasonable price as well. Couldn't have asked for a better day.
Delia · Married on 09/30/2011
Everything was magnificent. If I wanted it any better it would have been impossible to do. The location of my event (retirement party) was absolutely beautiful. Outdoor venue had all the beauty one can ask for. The variety of table cloth colors we had to choose from are many and very pretty. The lights décor made is look so festive. Fortino’s has an excellent dancing floor. I kept getting multiple compliments on the menu and how good the food was. The service was amazing. Debbi the coordinator was very helpful and the greatest to work with. Her goal in making this a memorable event was and is deeply appreciated. All my guest were very happy and stayed until the end. I do not have enough words to praise Fortino Winery’ and the staff for making my event the highlight of the year on retirement parties in my company. Thank you Debbi for making my night so special and thank you Mr. Fortino for having such a BEAUTIFUL place to celebrate.
Joey · Married on 09/02/2011
My wife and I worked with Debbie at Fortino Winery and she was great. She made sure everything was done right and on time. If we had any questions, she would answer them right away. We had a great time and would recommend this venue to anyone.
Amber · Married on 08/06/2011
Debbi and the rest of the staff at Fortino Winery are AMAZING!!! My wedding was absolutely beautiful and SO much fun and I didn't have to worry about a thing the day of other than showing up. The food was delicious, the decor was classy, and everything was perfect. I would definitely, definitely, definitely recommend Fortino to any bride!
Rose · Married on 05/29/2011
Just want to preface my (very long) and raving review by saying if you are a couple in search of a wedding venue, please, please consider Fortino - it will be the best wedding planning decision you will make!
We just had our wedding at Fortino Winery on Sunday, May 29th, and as reviewed by other couples who had their wedding at Fortino - had the most AMAZING experience from the beauty of this family owned vineyard, to the above and beyond customer service (Debbi Sanchez, the event planner, is a rock star...more on her later), to the food and the wine! You are treated like family at this winery.
Although I visited a handful of places on my own (and made dozens of phone calls), Fortino Winery promptly responded to our call and was the first place my fiance and I visited together, and within minutes we knew it was the perfect spot for us. Debbi Sanchez, the site event planner, is a big reason why we chose to have our wedding here and why the day was so seamless and wonderful for my new husband and me - we were truly able to enjoy the day with our family and friends as Debbi worked tirelessly behind the scenes to make sure everything ran smoothly!
Some examples of how she consistently went above and beyond:
*The day of the wedding, the XL paper lanterns we bought to hang above the reception area were too big and were blowing off of their frames and into the vineyard. Just as my heart was about to sink because I thought we would have to remove all of them, just two hours before the wedding she offered to have her husband dash to their house to pick up some extra medium sized lanterns she had so to hang those instead. Her lanterns worked out perfectly.
*Two of my bridesmaids were vegan and even though we worked out bringing in our own food in advance for them (veggie burritos), on accident the burritos ended up having beef in them. :0 Without having to ask and within moments, Debbi brought out extra eggplant Parmesan (minus the Parmesan) and grilled veggies for my gals to eat so they wouldn't go hungry.
There are so many examples of this kind of seamless professionalism, care and dedicated customer service Debbi provided us in the months and weeks leading up to the wedding, and of course, the day of.
I don't want to leave out all of the staff and Fortino family either - the food was fresh and very tasty (courtesy of the chef and Fortino Winery owner). I must have visited Fortino several times with friends and family over the course of the year leading up to our wedding to show them the space and taste their yummy wine - each time we were embraced by the staff and most often the owners were in the tasting room as well, always friendly and welcoming.
We could not have asked for a more perfect place to have our wedding and must add that many of our guests commented that it was the BEST (and most fun) wedding they had ever been to! I must say that we agree (even though our vote is of course a bit biased given that it was our wedding ;).
Thank you for everything Debbi and the Fortino family and staff - Fortino Winery will always carry a special place in our hearts!
Brittney · Married on 02/05/2011
Our Wedding was amazing! Everything ran so smoothly and stress free With Debbi's and the Fortino winery team. I highly recamend this venu not just for the beautiful scenery but also for the great work of Debbi and her team
Christopher · Married on 10/16/2010
Debbie and her staff at Fortino did everything within their power to make our wedding day the most spectacular event of our lives. We thank them with all of our heart and we recommend their services to anyone who would like to begin their married life on strong note. Debbie insured that all of our needs were taking care of throughout this entire process. Debbie and her staff actually care about thier customers and that made the experience so much more. We actually feel like we are apart of the Fortino family. Thank you Debbie and Fortino for making our wedding day the best day of our lives.
Andrea · Married on 09/05/2010
We used Fortino Winery for our reception venue as we were married in Maui, HI. Fortino's was a great help in all of our planning and worked with us as we were going to be out of state for a few weeks before the reception. They listened to the things that we wanted to make this day special and did all that they could to satisfy our needs. Our reception was on a Sunday (holiday weekend) and had to end by 10PM. I also suggest you join the wine club if not for yourself, for a friend or family member. The wine is fabulous!
Stephanie · Married on 08/28/2010
Have a plan A and at least a Plan B incase changes have to be made
Daniel · Married on 07/17/2010
Prior to the wedding, my fiance was located on the east coast of the U.S., Debbie was very responsive and worked with us throughout the process.
Susan · Married on 06/26/2010
This is our second year planning our annual fundraiser at Fortino Winery. The staff at the winery are wonderful. They are extremely helpful in making sure every avenue is taken care of. The food was very tasty, especially the pesto. They were also great with last minute situations. We will be having our fundraiser there again next year. I highly recommend Fortino Winery for any special event.
Our family also rented their Barrel Room in January for a 16th B- Day Party. That was just as successful as the fundraiser.
Thank you to all the staff at Fortino Winery for such a successful event. You ROCK!
Meg · Married on 05/22/2010
Fortino Winery provided a wonderful venue for our wedding and reception. The weather did not cooperate on our wedding day, but the Fortino staff worked hard to make everything work for us anyway. The food was great, almond champagne spectacular, and our day went exactly how we wanted it to - in large part to Fortino's staff(In particular, Debbi, the event planner. She had everything covered!)
eloisa · Married on 08/14/2010
I would recommend Fortino Winery to any future bride who is seeking an outdoor wedding. Fortino was perfect and beautiful to celebrate one of the best days of our lives. We were very pleased with the quality, professionalism, and cost of the whole event. Plus the food was excellent, great reviews from all of my guest on the food. Thank you Fortino's for making it our wedding day very special.
Eloisa & Scott Serrano
Sara · Married on 06/27/2010
For a summer event in the barrel room, be sure to arrange for large fans for air circulation and comfort, and plenty of chilled water on all tables. Venue was beautiful, staff very helpful. A lovely spot for our reception.
Cherelyn · Married on 06/05/2010
We had the ceremony and reception of our dreams at Fortino Winery. Great venue if you're looking for an outside ceremony and reception. The afternoon/evening was run very well, Debbi had every little thing scheduled down to the minute and made sure the event stayed on schedule.
The grounds were beautiful and created endless gorgeous photo opportunities. We got married at the right time (June) for all of the grape vines to be full and green. I heard from our guests that they enjoyed the food, and what we did eat was tasty. I don't know much about if people were able to go back for 2nds or anything like that as we were otherwise distracted. I would have liked to take the leftovers home as it was food that we had paid for, or at least a doggie bag for the bride and groom as we didn't have the opportunity to eat much.
Debbi was a very easy person to work with. She thought of everything, and offered a lot of suggestions, guidance, and help when necessary. We were thankful that she provided Fortino corks and wine labels for our use, as they put the final touch on what we needed them for.
Very likely to recommend to future couples for their events.
monica · Married on 04/05/2009
On our special day we could not have asked for better service from all the workers at Fortino Winery. Since we booked rather quickly, they were able to provide everything we needed and asked for(weather included). We have referred this venue to others and it has been used for other events(our guests). We are greatful for Fortino's for making this day so special.
Monica and Marty Beltran(4/5/09)
Amanda · Married on 04/04/2009
Our wedding at Fortino's was beautiful and well organized thanks to Debbi. The day of your event you have access to the winery nice and early for pictures and set up.
Debbi will walk you through your event the day before and help guide and control the happy wedding party.
The food and drink was fantasic, I heard high praise for everything. The table and chair set up was great and looked perfect. Debbi was always a step away to help.
Debbi will answer all your question when you sit down with her. I recommend making a big list of questions for your sit down so you don't need to chase her down later.
With the help of Debbi Fortino's can be your one stop shop for wedding day bliss. I would recommend Fortino's to anyone looking for a beautiful out door winery wedding experince.
Brian · Married on 05/30/2009
Fortino Winery is a very nice and quaint location to have a wedding and we really enjoyed having our wedding their. However, one thing to note is that their food is about average and will likely NOT impress your guests one bit. It is not bad, but definately not good compared to many other wedding caterers we tasted. They do NOT accept outside catering.
The only other bad thing that occured during our wedding is that they took the wedding food away very quickly and abruptly leaving many of our guests without a chance to visit the buffet more than once (especially since they wanted to "taste" things before going back for seconds).
Overall, however, the venue is very nice, the host is GREAT and helpful and cheery, and the bang for the buck is pretty good. We were very happy with our decision to have our wedding at Fortino Winery.
User2052029 · 2+ years ago
For the most part everything went just fine. We did have a few problems that could have been prevented. Our reception/ceremony space was not ready for us to decorate until 2 hours before the ceremony. The tablecloths were the wrong color that we paid extra for. There were wasps EVERYWHERE!!! My shoes got stuck in mud while walking down the aisle. The ceremony and the reception patio are amazing! I love the view of the vineyards. We had ample space for tables and dancing. Debbi was amazing!
Danielle · Married on 08/21/2010
Beautiful venue, beautiful setting. The food was great and I love the wine. I thought everything was perfect. The family-owned winery is very laid back, maybe too much, but I didn't mind. I didn't want to get married in a stuffy atmosphere. If you want everything fancy and perfect, this might not be the place for you. But if you want a beautiful outdoor wedding that's fun, you'll love it here. The prices are great too.