One of our very first wine tasting experiences in Sonoma County was about 10 years ago at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards. Located on Highway 121 on the eastern end of the Carneros wine region, Gloria Ferrer sits on a hill with stunning views of vineyards and the surrounding mountains. The occasion for our first visit to Gloria Ferrer was their Catalan Festival, an annual summer tribute to the founder’s ties Spain’s Cataluña region. Ten years later, our visit was motivated by our cousins visiting from Spain.
We cannot explain how it has taken so long to return to Gloria Ferrer as we enjoyed their wines and the atmosphere of the winery on our first visit. There can be no excuse that the winery is out of the way – we drive by it on every trip to San Francisco, and the signage is certainly not hidden.
Anyway, we finally made it back to Gloria Ferrer and as we drove past the sign and through the gates we were ready for another superior tasting experience. It was a beautiful summer Friday when we visited and our hostess seated us on the outdoor patio.
By the time we were seated we were both thirsty and famished so we ordered some goodies to quiet the hunger and pair with the wines.
Gloria Ferrer has a number of different tasting and flight options and guests can even order wine by the glass if they have a favorite they want to drink rather than just taste. We opted for a couple of different tasting options so that we could get a sense of the full range of the Gloria Ferrer wines. For one of our flights we tasted two sparkling wines – Sonoma Brut and Blanc de Noirs, a Chardonnay Reserve, finishing with a Carneros estate-grown Pinot Noir. While Gloria Ferrer is known as a producer of a number of sparkling wines, they also have an impressive lineup of pinot noir from several different vineyard locations.
The other tasting was all pinot noir from various Gloria Ferrer properties – an excellent opportunity to taste the different that location, weather and soils can impart to the wine.
It is hard not to enjoy a visit to Gloria Ferrer on a day like the one we spent on the terrace. Each of us had a different favorite wine but we all agreed the scenic view was almost reason enough to visit the winery again.
John & Irene Ingersoll
August 24, 2017