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.

Winemaker Theresa Heredia, a champion of cool climate pinot noir and chardonnay, joined the team in 2012. As the long-time winemaker at Joseph Phelps’ Freestone Vineyards in the Sonoma Coast, Theresa is a highly respected specialist in small-lot, single-vineyard Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Theresa has a keen appreciation for the acclaimed Gary Farrell Winery house style, which emphasizes elegance and balance. Her experience and passion for exploration, in the vineyards and winery, made her the ideal person to carry on this legacy, while bringing a spirit of innovation to the winemaking.

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Wines

Russian River Selection Chardonnay

Russian River Valley, California

The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the winery’s top vineyard sources. They are beautiful expressions of their varietal type and of the appellation’s unique terroir, each blend capturing the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks. This layered and complex Chardonnay brings together fruit from several of our favorite Russian River Valley vineyard sites. 

Olivet Lane Chardonnay

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. 

Russian River Selection Pinot Noir

Russian River Valley, California

The Russian River Selection bottlings are quintessential Russian River Valley wines blended from some of the region’s top vineyards, taking advantage of varied climates and unique site characteristics.  Undoubtedly showcasing a beautiful expression of the varietal and of the appellation’s unique terroir, this Pinot Noir blend captures the richness, purity and elegance that are Gary Farrell Winery’s trademarks.

Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir

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.

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Reviews

    Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2017 (94 WS)

    Wine Spectator - Full Review to be Published in June 2020

    Gary Farrell Winery Hallberg Pinot Noir 2016 (94 DE)

    Decanter -

    "Showcases exceptional depth with ripe red fruit character largely leaning into cherry, raspberry, strawberry and a hint of dried lavender in the mix. Black tea, savoury spice and silky tannins lay the groundwork for an elegant harmony of fresh acidity, seamless structure and a juicy finish." 

    Gary Farrell Russian River Selection Pinot Noir 2016 (93 WE)

    Wine Enthusiast - “From a blend of iconic sites, like Rochioli, Hallberg and Martaella, this opens with thick, dense and concentrated tones of dried cherry and cola before unleashing a wealth of white pepper and black tea.It finds a balance between the fruit and forest on the mid-palate,finishing in silky brilliance.”

    Gary Farrell Winery Russian River Selection Chardonnay 2018 (95 WE)

    Wine Enthusiast - Editors' Choice “This wine offers such tremendous value and quality – it should be on everyone’s go-to list for Russian River Valley Chardonnay.  Lime, fig and grapefruit rind flavors ride along a lifted character of crushed stone texture and bright acidity.  This wine is impressive from the detailed start to the lengthy finish.”

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Theresa Heredia

Theresa Heredia brings extensive experience with cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as small lot, single-vineyard wines, to her position as winemaker for Gary Farrell Winery. She specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the top vineyard sites in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast and is guiding the evolution of the Gary Farrell Winery house style while maintaining the signature elegance, balance and bright natural acidity.

“My approach to winemaking is very much about taking advantage of specific vineyard and fruit qualities,” says Theresa. “I like to tailor the winemaking techniques specifically to each block of fruit that we receive separately. My job is to treat it as gently as possible so that we end up with a balanced wine.”

Theresa joined Gary Farrell Winery in 2012 and was previously at Joseph Phelps’ Freestone Vineyards on the Sonoma Coast, where her Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brought the winery significant critical acclaim. She made the first vintage of Freestone wines in 2002 when it was still an experimental project at Phelps, and she later moved to the Sonoma Coast to open the new Freestone winery in 2007. In early 2012 she was named “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle, reflecting her interest in wines that offer a pure expression of their vineyard site and her willingness to experiment with different winemaking techniques.

Theresa has a hands-on, Burgundian perspective with her winemaking, having worked in France at Domaine de Montille. She trained with renowned winemaker Craig Williams at Freestone and at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the Napa Valley, after starting her career as an enologist for Saintsbury. Theresa was a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry with an emphasis on enology at U.C. Davis, before leaving to follow her calling as a hands-on winemaker. She has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo.

Nancy Bailey

Born in Syracuse, New York, Nancy spent a good portion of her school years overseas in England. Her interest in food and wine was sparked by family travels abroad throughout her childhood. After attending college and graduate school back in the States (she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in government from Hamilton College and a Master of Arts degree in international relations from The Fletcher School at Tufts University), Nancy ventured to California where she discovered a true passion for wine country living. She lent her many marketing talents to such well-known brands as Chalk Hill Estate Vineyards & Winery, Champagne Perrier Jouët, and Kendall-Jackson. Her creativity and communication acumen placed her in high demand when she went on to work as a freelance marketing consultant for a number of Sonoma County wineries. Before accepting her current role at Gary Farrell in November 2011, Nancy was General Manager of Wine Creek LLC (Quivira Vineyards & Winery, La Follette Wines and Torbreck Vintners) for 4 years. Nancy lives in Sebastopol with her husband, two children and Tibetan Terrier.

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