Recently my husband and I had the pleasure of visiting Gary Farrell Winery Salon in Russian River Valley, near the charming town of Healdsburg, to see their newly renovated tasting room and experience one of their three new tasting experiences, “Inspiration Tasting.”
Perched on a scenic ridge with panoramic views of the redwood forest below, Gary Farrell Winery Salon is a breathtaking property with an outstanding reputation for making fine Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays.
Gary Farrell Winery was founded in 1982 by Gary Farrell, a pioneer in the Russian River Valley wine region. For over three decades, Gary Farrell produced small-lot wines known for their elegance and balance with grapes grown in some of the most well-known and reputable vineyards in the area.
Farrell sold the winery in 2004. Current owners, Bill Price and several investors, are continuing the legacy of Gary Farrell wines by producing small lot Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays from top growers. Winemaker Theresa Heredia came on board five years ago. With her many years of experience making small lot, vineyard designate wines, she was the ideal fit for the team at Gary Farrell Winery.
The Salon and Meadow View Room
The nearly year-long renovation was designed by San Francisco based architect Michael Guthrie of MG&CO. Upon entering Gary Farrell Winery Salon, you feel as though you just walked into someone’s spectacularly stunning home – a home that could easily grace the pages of Architectural Digest.
There are several new spaces in the Tasting Salon including a center room with intimate tasting options and sofas for two, as well as a larger semi-private seating area, the Meadow View Room, that can accommodate up to eight guests. Across the terrace there is a private space, The Inspiration Room, where Bill and I had our seated tasting.
The design is contemporary with plenty of windows – including floor to ceiling – that succeed at showing off the property’s majestic views. That, combined with the wood beam ceiling, use of natural colors and airy spaciousness, and you have the distinct feeling you’re not entirely indoors.
The new space is luxurious and comfortable and the inviting atmosphere allows guests to feel relaxed while taking in breathtaking views, tasting fine Burgundian-styled wines, all while learning from experienced and educated staff.
The Terrace sits between the Salon and The Inspiration Room and is a large outdoor space with several seating areas including comfortable oversized couches, tables and vaulted shade sails that add a dramatic touch as well as a buffer from the sun.
Our Inspiration Tasting took place in The Inspiration Room, an enclosed room with large windows looking out onto the terrace, giving it an open and airy feel. The decor, like the other spaces at Gary Farrell, is elegant and contemporary.
Our 90-minute seated tasting was guided by Kevin Patterson, Estate Sommelier who led us through a selection of their vineyard-designate Pinot Noir wines.
Kevin described the nuances of each wine and highlighted their characteristics. He had us do taste comparisons with the wines to illustrate how they differed from each other.
We tasted a curated flight of six vineyard designate Pinot Noir wines, including library and limited production wines. The wines were paired with savory tarts from local artisan bakery Pascaline Café & Patisserie.
We enjoyed a Crimini Mushroom Tart, a Kale Tart and finally a rich a flavorful Italian Sausage & Swiss Cheese Tart. Chef Didier Ageorges created the tarts to enhance and highlight the wines’ characteristics and their versatility.
Visit the Gary Farrell Winery Salon website to find out more.
Gary Farrell Winery Salon is located at 10701 Westside Road, Healdsburg. Reservations are required.
Email [email protected] or call (707) 473-2909 to make a guest reservation.
Disclosure: The Inspiration Tasting at Gary Farrell Winery was complimentary in exchange for coverage. All opinions expressed here are my own, as always.