Blanc de Noirs
90% Pinot Noir
José and Gloria Ferrer, owners of the successful Spanish Cava producer Freixenet, established Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards in 1986. This was the first sparkling wine house to open in California’s famous Carneros region. The Carneros AVA is actually located in both Napa and Sonoma counties, with Gloria Ferrer sitting solely in Sonoma County. The winery uses their Spanish traditions and centuries-old winemaking practices to create some wonderful sparkling and still wines.
The Wine – This sparkling wine rocks for the price, coming in at about $20 per bottle. The color is a light salmon. The nose has strawberry Creamsicle. The palate explodes with its lively, fine bubbles, creamy cherry, raspberry and some red apple. There is just a touch of yeast to complete the lush palate of this wine.
I love many of their other (and more expensive) vintage sparkling wines, specifically their Royal Brut, their Rose, and their Carneros Cuvee. This Blanc de Noirs, however, has been my mainstay everyday bubbly for years! The quality is consistent year after year and I seem never to tire of opening another bottle.
Visiting the Winery – Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is always our first stop when visiting Napa and Sonoma. This is not the typical California tasting room. Here you actually purchase a glass of sparkling or still wine at the bar when you walk in. You then head outside to sit at a table and a friendly tasting room attendant brings the wine out to you. They serve you these really yummy, spiced almonds and you sit on their patio and look at the UNBELIEVABLY gorgeous view of the vineyards and the valley. It’s always a great way to start the Wine Country experience.
The Journey – Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is located 40 miles north of San Francisco at the southern tip of Sonoma County. It’s the perfect first stop from the San Fran airport heading into either Napa or Sonoma. They are located right on Carneros Highway 121. This is also called Arnold Drive, which is the street name you should plug into your GPS. Once you pull onto their driveway you will have a lovely drive through the vineyards, with their expansive winery awaiting you above. In my opinion, this is a must visit spot on any Napa/Sonoma adventure!