Black cherry and ripe plum aromas followed by eucalyptus and fresh herbs announce this earthy Pinot Noir. On the palate, you will find caramelized layers of Santa Rosa plum with youthful acidity leading to a perfectly balanced and dry finish.
Salmon, pork tenderloin and mushroom based pasta dishes would be a superb match with this flavorful Pinot Noir. For the cheese course, try Fontina or Manchego with dried fruit and almonds.
Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards
Gloria Ferrer is the offspring of a powerful parent: Freixenet of Spain, the world's largest producer of sparkling wine. Drawn to the promise of California, Freixenet established a California winery, naming it after the wife of Freixenet's president. The winery in Carneros is one of the best stops in all of Wine Country. Visit the aging caves carved in the hillside and enjoy the sun-splashed deck while noshing on roasted almonds and sipping bubbly. Wines produced are Blanc de Noir, Brut, Brut Rose, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Rose.
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Technically a part of Napa Valley, the Carneros region straddles both Sonoma & Napa counties. It's the Napa region closest to the San Francisco peninsula and the San Pablo Bay, which is instrumental in controlling the climate of the area. The winds from the San Pablo bay create a cool weather pattern ideal for growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.
Both Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from Carneros are delicate, yet complex, with firm structure and acidity. And while the pair are the most popular varieties of the region, some winemakers have branched out, particularly with Syrah. The cool climate Syrah of Carneros is well structured and stylistically similar to Syrah from the Northern Rhone, though often fuller-bodied.
It's not rare to see a wine's country of origin listed as "California." A country into itself in the wine world, California makes enough varieties and styles to match many European wine countries. It produces a diverse range of wines that span the quality spectrum.
The most famous of the California wine regions is Napa Valley, and these wines are certainly outstanding – but it's not as broad and diverse as its larger neighbor, Sonoma County. Down south, Santa Barbara's Santa Maria Valley is well-known for its Rhône blends, as well as cool-climate varieties like Pinot and Chardonnay. The Central Coast, the largest California AVA, has many different microclimates that lead to a wide range of wines with many sub-AVAs.
Most wine ranges from 10-16% alcohol by volume. Some varietals tend to have higher (for example Zinfandel and Cabernet Sauvignon) or lower alcohol levels (Pinot Noir and many white varietals), but there is always some variation from producer to producer. Some wine falls outside of this range, for instance Port weighs in closer to 20%, while Muscat and Riesling are usually a bit below 10%.
Wine Style Guide
Light & Fruity
Red wines that are more fruit-forward and lighter in tannin and body.
Smooth & Supple
Medium bodied reds that go down easy, with smooth tannins and supple fruit.
Earthy & Spicy
Wines where earthy and/or spicy dominate the flavors – typically medium to full body.
Big & Bold
Full bodied wines that have concentrated fruit and are higher in alcohol and/or tannins. Some need age.