Sonoma Carneros Region
CULTIVATING CARNEROS TERROIR
Blending Innovation and Tradition
The Ferrer family assembled a strong and vibrant winegrowing team with an eye toward longevity, and today Gloria Ferrer’s vineyard crew shares almost a quarter century of vintage memories. “Our crew knows every vine inside and out.” says VP Production Mike Crumly, whose tenure began in 1986. With all those years spent sifting through the same soil, our vineyard and winemaking teams continue to fine-tune their craft with every vintage.
All of the fruit for Gloria Ferrer’s varietal wines and a portion of the fruit for our sparkling wines is cultivated on our two Sonoma Carneros estate properties, both planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. The 207-acre Home Ranch with four different soil types has elevations ranging from 50 to 325 feet. The 128-acre Circle Bar Ranch ranges from 50 to 280 feet and consists of 13 different blocks. Pinot Noir is planted in the rocky, volcanic soils on the estate’s highest ridges. Chardonnay is planted in the clay-rich soils on the lower sections of the estate.
“Winegrowing at Gloria Ferrer is all about collaboration. My job is to provide the winemakers with a variety of different choices, so they become like painters with many different colors on their palette.”
- VP Production Mike Crumly
The Sonoma Side of Carneros
For the Ferrers, whose Spanish sparkling winegrowing experience is generations-deep, the potential of Los Carneros was unmistakable. In 1982, when José, Gloria, and their sons, Pedro and José Maria Ferrer first visited the western hills of Carneros, they recognized the ideal climate for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay — and thus the perfect terroir for brilliant sparkling wines. Warm days, cool nights, predictable winds, summer fog, and a long growing season coax grapes to maturity slowly and consistently with a desirable balance of sugar and acidity.
A year after their visit, Carneros became an AVA, validating the Ferrer’s forward thinking. Spanning both Napa and Sonoma counties, Carneros is defined by maritime influences, with cooler summer temperatures and moderate winters. The region’s growing conditions encourage longer hang times, translating into fully ripe grapes with lower sugars, great acidity, and lush fruit flavors — ideal for wines crafted to complement a diverse array of foods
PINOT NOIR CLONAL RESEARCH
In the early 1980s, the Ferrer family understood the benefits of investing in experimentation and research. With the Ferrer family's support, Executive Winemaker Bob Iantosca and VP Production, Mike Crumly traveled to France to learn more about clonal research.
"The vision that Bob had more than 20 years ago when he began his exploration of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir heirloom vine selections or 'clones,' is just now being realized in terms of the quality of our Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines," says longtime Executive Vice President Eva Bertran.
This extensive and ongoing commitment to clonal research benefits not only Gloria Ferrer, but continues to be shared with the California wine industry at large.
Our winegrowing team matches perfectly suited Pinot Noir and Chardonnay heirloom vines with our diverse estate vineyard sites, rendering infinite possibilities in our finished wines. "Pinot Noir and Chardonnay are about choosing the right clones," says Winemaker Steven Urberg. For Urberg, cultivating Pinot Noir, famously unpredictable and uniquely variable, requires a balance between careful research and the intuitive sense of a well-trained vineyard team. For instance, "we'll take a vigorous vine, and instead of over-managing it, we'll plant it on a hill where the soils are shallow."