|Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyard|
Of course we wanted a tour - they had caves after all! It being a quiet Tuesday, we were the only two people on the tour, which started out with our guide Tammy handing each of us a glass of 2006 Blanc de Blancs (100% Chardonnay, 12.5%) and ordering us to start sipping. Well, okey dokey - things were looking up! A little history lesson told us that Ferrer was the very first sparkling wine winery in Carneros (wine country has a bunch of different "regions" within its famed counties...this is one of them). They grow Pinot Noir and Chardonnay grapes there - and these are the two most important grapes to grow if you want your wine to sparkle. I was learning a lot. And the Blanc de Blancs? It sparkled with tastes of pear and lemon and was almost creamy in my mouth. Definitely NOT one dimensional! Hmm....
|Sparkling wine on a riddling rack|
You get to see this entire process in the wine making room - and it's quite amazing. For as much as machines help with the bottling and freezing and corking, there are still some very knowledgeable human eyes down there watching and tasting and testing. At this point though, we were poured another glass of sparkling wine and ordered to sip again! This time, we were tasting a 2004 Royal Cuvee (67% Pinot Noir, 33% Chardonnay, 13%) which had been yeast aged for 5 years (longer than the first wine we tasted). This one was very lively on the front and sides of my tongue. It was much creamier in texture and had an apple, cherry flavor to it. The Winey Hubby really liked this one a lot. I did too, but was still a bit partial to the Blanc de Blancs we'd tasted first.
Next up was a peek at one of the caves. No, we didn't have to climb a hillside and evict a family of bears. This cave was right in the winery, complete with brick walls and stretching WAAAAY back into the hillside next to the building. And then, not to take away from the cave or anything, but Tammy decided that we must taste the wine that has recently come into the spotlight in Sonoma. So we were poured a 2006 Jose S. Ferrer Pinot Noir (100% estate grown Pinot Noir, 13.5%). There was an aroma of smoke and plum, followed by those tastes with a dash of pepper thrown in. Yum. And since hubby is not a huge red wine drinker, I got some of his too!
|2000 Carneros Cuvee|
Don't you just love the
shape of the bottle!?
Our first wine country winery, and it was a good one! The process of making a sparkling wine is fascinating - if you ever get the chance, grab a tour. And if you happen to be in Sonoma, grab it at Gloria Ferrer. The winery had been recommended to me by three different people prior to the trip, and their recommendations were totally and sparklingly justified!
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