Iconic views, comfortable seating, award-winning sparkling and still wines, and a host of experiences in which to enjoy—this is the newly renovated Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards. Having always been an enjoyable winery to visit, it was hard to imagine Gloria Ferrer getting much better—but the team aspired to more, and with the new renovations, Gloria Ferrer has quickly become the new favorite winery destination in Sonoma County.
Views for Days
Nestled on the top of a gorgeous hillside, overlooking both the Sonoma Valley and Carneros appellations of Sonoma County, Gloria Ferrer boasts some of the most classic, picturesque views of wine country. Sprawling vineyard land stretches for miles against the backdrop of the San Pablo Bay to the south, and iconic blue skies above on warm, summer afternoons. The more expansive Vista Terrace, equipped with ample comfortable chairs and bistro-style table sets, is the perfect setting for such a view. As the sun shines down, you can just imagine how similar the Spanish countryside from which the Ferrer family hails must be.
For those looking for a little respite from the summer heat, inside the tasting room features enormous glass windows which give way to bright, summer light in a cool, temperature controlled setting. The open floor design with tables and chairs makes for a comfortable and semi-formal tasting environment, and bright colors open up the space nicely. The hustle and bustle of the newly renovated tasting room is accompanied by laughter, chatter amongst friends and family, and that desirable pop of a cork being released from one of Gloria Ferrer’s award-winning sparkling wines.
Bubbles & Bites
Perhaps the most exciting addition to Gloria Ferrer is the Bubbles & Bites experience. Featuring some of the most exclusive, small production bottlings, Bubbles & Bites begins with an in-depth tour with one of the wine experts of the state-of-the-art facilities and underground wine cave, then ends with a seated, private pairing. Three spectacular sparkling wines and one incredible still wine are poured alongside a plate of four unique, seasonal bites.
• 2004 Carneros Cuvée with Cowgirl Creamery Mt. Tam Brie with Spanish Torta
The newly released, exclusive 2004 Carneros Cuvée opens up the Bubbles & Bites pairing alongside Cowgirl Creamery’s Mt. Tam triple cream brie, Spanish torta and fresh apricot. This stunning new Cuvée, which sees an astonishing nine years of total aging and has already won numerous awards, boasts a creamy, nutty nose full of lime zest; the palate offers citrus, white peach, creamy body, excellent effervescence and flavors of fresh-baked bread, all of which pair exceptionally well with the rich, creamy and flavorful brie.
• 2007 Royal Cuvée with Fig Almond Cake with Macerated Strawberries
You can’t go wrong with sparkling wine and almonds—the nuttiness of both complement each other beautifully. The 2007 Royal Cuvée expresses notes of white peach, green apple, lemon, brioche and a touch of salinity on the nose; the palate is bright with nice acidity, a creamy mouthfeel, and flavors of pear, citrus, toasted nuts, brioche and gentle minerality. The brightness of the macerated strawberries heightens the crisp acidity, while the fig almond cake provides richness to the texture of the Cuvée and adds complexity to the nutty flavor profile.
• 2011 Brut Rosé with Spanish Jamón with Cantaloupe
Lovely strawberry and citrus aromas grace the nose of the delicate, but rich 2011 Brut Rosé. Red fruit abounds on the palate with flavors of red cherry, strawberry and cranberry. When paired with the Spanish jamón with cantaloupe, this Brut Rosé embraces the sweet and salty combination. Zesty acidity mingles with the salty jamón, while the fruit flavors delicately complement the cantaloupe.
• 2012 Carneros Pinot Noir with Chicken Sausage with Caramelized Onions
The final pairing features one of Gloria Ferrer’s still wines—the 2012 Carneros Pinot Noir. With aromas of forest floor, cranberry, a touch of mushroom and subtle vanilla, the nose is just as complex as the palate of this incredible wine. Flavors of roasted coffee, cranberry, boysenberry and a touch of baking spice grace the medium bodied palate. These flavors bring out the peppery characteristics of the chicken sausage, while the caramelized onions give the wine more body, texture and smoky notes—a fun, intricate pairing with pleasurable flavors and complexity.
The Bubbles & Bites pairing experience at Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards is hosted daily, and reservations for groups of six to twelve can be made for 10:00 a.m., 12:00 p.m. and 2:00 p.m. For only $60 per person, you will learn about the inner workings of sparking wine production, and experience some of Gloria Ferrer’ most exclusive bottlings alongside a delightful plate of four unique, seasonal bites.
*Originally published on Wine Country This Week.