Tasting New Gary Farrell Releases
with Winemaker Theresa Heredia
We recently sat down with Theresa Heredia, the new winemaker at Gary Farrell Winery, and Nancy Bailey, General Manager of the winery, to taste some of their new Chardonnay and Pinot Noir releases. These are the first Gary Farrell wines to show Theresa’s imprint. We met at Jeff Buben’s Woodward Table, a relatively new restaurant in the historic Woodward Building in Washington, DC, that serves magnificent seasonal American cuisine.
Theresa Heredia is an outstanding young winemaker who we came to know and admire during her tenure as winemaker at Joseph Phelps Freestone winery on the Sonoma Coast. At Freestone, Theresa produced some magnificent cool climate Burgundian style Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs, mostly from estate fruit. She moved to Gary Farrell’s in 2012 where she faces a new set of challenges crafting wines from a wide variety of the best vineyard sources within and outside Russian River Valley.
Gary Farrell Winery is one of California’s preeminent producers of distinctive vineyard designated Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Beginning in the 1980s Garry Farrell began identifying vineyards to produce distinctive single vineyard Pinot Noirs. In 1982 he sourced grapes from what would become the famous vineyards of Rochioli and Allen as well as other top quality vineyards. Today, Gary Farrell Winery enjoys long term relationships with other growers such as the Bacigalupi family, Westside Farms, Hallberg, Martinelli and many others in the Russian River Valley. Outside the Russian River, it has developed relationships with Durell Vineyards in the Sonoma Valley, Bien Nacido Vineyard in the Santa Maria Valley, and others.
Given the superb vineyards that provide fruit to the Gary Farrell Winery, Theresa sees her job as fine-tuning the winemaking to express the unique terroirs of the different sites. She has, for example, adjusted the oak regime, using lighter toasts and larger barrels. She believes the secret to further improving the already high quality of the Gary Farrell wines lies in paying detailed attention to every facet of winemaking, from the vineyard to the bottle. Knowing how very serious (and talented) she is about winemaking, we very much look forward to continuing to taste her wines in the coming vintages.
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