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World-Class Wines of Gary Farrell Winery

February 1, 2021

 Santé magazine contributor Penny Weiss shared key takeaways from a virtual Gary Farrell Winery tasting with readers, including recommendations of the Olivet Lane Chardonnay and Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir.

As part of her “virtual plane ticket” to the Russian River Valley, Weiss learned more about the winery’s history and Winemaker Theresa Heredia’s winemaking style and philosophy. After joining in 2012 to focus on small-lot, single vineyard wines – of which she works with 36 different sites – she maintains “my primary goal is respect for the fruit and vineyards.”

Heredia added, “I strongly believe in the Russian River Valley’s capacity to consistently produce world-class wines. The key is cool breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean blanket.” The story elaborated on the climactic variations throughout the different neighborhoods within the Valley, and how each offer a unique sense of place.

Here is how the growing conditions influenced two distinctive wines from the portfolio:

Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2017: “This vineyard is exposed to regular fog, and is moderated by cool breezes, crisp nights, and well-drained loam, clay soils that create a perfect environment for this well-balanced Chardonnay with rich acidity and minerality.” As far as tasting notes: “Lovely aromas of pear, lemon, melon, and honeysuckle spill onto the palate.  Vibrant acidity, hints of baking spice, lemon curd, and toasty notes add to the dimension of this wine, with honeysuckle lingering on the finish.”

Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017: “This vineyard is located in the Green Valley sub-appellation.  The marine influence brings invigorating daytime breezes, followed by cool evening temperatures.” In addition to speaking about the grape selection and winemaking, Weiss speaks to the “intoxicating aromas of floral, dark cherry, blackberry, and ripe strawberries. The palate is layered with earthy notes, dark cherry, spice, raspberry, and a hint of vanilla.  This is a fresh and intense wine with soft tannins and a long finish.”

Read more about the unique vineyards and additional single-vineyard wines from Gary Farrell Winery HERE

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Related Wines

    Gary Farrell Winery

    Gary Farrell Winery Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2017

    Russian River Valley, California

    Pellegrini’s Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted in 1975 to Wente selection on AXR rootstock. The vineyard sits on 65 acres of sloping bench land in the Santa Rosa Plain, in between the warmer Westside Road region and the cooler Green Valley,where warm summer days are moderated by cool breezes and chilly evening temperatures. The combination of low temperatures, regular fog intrusion and well drained loam, clay soils create an excellent environment for growing Chardonnay that develop cool-climate characteristics and impeccable acid at fairly low sugars.The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance. 

    Gary Farrell Winery

    Gary Farrell Winery Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

    Russian River Valley, California

    Named for its previous owners, the 100-acre Hallberg Vineyard is today owned and managed by wine industry veterans including vineyard manager Kirk Lokka. Nestled in the Green Valley sub-appellation, the site enjoys refreshing daytime breezes and cool nighttime temperatures. The strong marine influence means less severe daily temperature shifts so the vines never completely shut down, producing fruit with deep, dark color, great structure, silky tannins, darker fruit flavors and earthy characteristics. This blend is a composition of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site, which include clones 667, 777, 828, Pommard and a mysterious “suitcase” selection.

Related Producers

    Gary Farrell Winery

    Russian River Valley, California

    For over 37 years, Gary Farrell Winery has crafted small-lot artisan wines capturing balance and stylistic elegance from some of the finest vineyard sites in the Russian River Valley. In 1985, Winemaker Gary Farrell released his 55 cases of 1982 Rochioli-Allen Pinot Noir to widespread critical acclaim. Since that release, the team at Gary Farrell Winery has consistently focused on rigorous vineyard selection, outstanding grower relationships, and superior quality fruit. For the past 8 years, the current owners have been dedicated to enhancing Gary Farrell’s legacy with a single-minded focus on quality.