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Theresa Heredia Upholds and Raises Gary Farrell Winery’s High Standards

Updated: Nov 24, 2020

Since 1982, Gary Farrell Winery has specialized in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the top vineyards in the Russian River Valley. Today, the winery team’s immense knowledge of this picturesque, redwood-studded wine region 55 miles north of San Francisco is illustrated in their wide variety of labels, each from a different vineyard, and each displaying subtle differences reflective of their acreage of origin.

Gary Farrell is led by highly respected winemaker Theresa Heredia who joined the team in 2012. Formerly with Joseph Phelps Freestone Vineyards in the Sonoma Coast appellation, her critical acclaim includes ‘Winemaker to Watch’ honors from the San Francisco Chronicle. Heredia maintains the relationships with the local growers so carefully cultivated by Farrell himself. The first wine Farrell produced under his own label in 1982 was a Pinot Noir sourced from two of the Russian River Valley’s premier vineyards, Rochioli and Allen, which are adjacent to each other not far from Gary Farrell Winery and which have both been meticulously farmed by Joe Rochioli, Jr. for more than 40 years.

These two celebrated sites produce some of the New World’s finest Pinot Noirs and have continuously supplied grapes to Gary Farrell Winery for 30 years. The Rochioli, Allen, Bacigalupi and Hallberg vineyards provide Gary Farrell Winery with older heritage clones as well as a diverse array of French Dijon clones supplying the mixture of rich fruit and bright acidity for which the winery’s Chardonnays are renowned.

Heredia strongly believes in the Russian River Valley’s capacity to consistently produce world-class wines, those that boast bright, vibrant aromas, intense, yet supple flavors, and exemplary balance. The key is the appellation’s climate: cool breezes and fog from the nearby Pacific Ocean blanket the area most mornings and evenings. The fog and wind temper summer’s heat and can reduce temperatures by 35-40 degrees at night, ensuring a long, even growing season. The slow ripening process fully matures the fruit while maintaining healthy levels of acidity.

Whether picnicking by the coast, sitting by a warm fire while watching holiday movies, or enjoying a quite dinner at home, a bottle of Gary Farrell makes any occasion a celebration. But for the ultimate Gary Farrell experience, plan a visit to their Forestville tasting patio. Perched on a hillside providing panoramic views of the forested valley below, it’s a beautiful venue in which to savor the best of the Russian River appellation.


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