The First Sparkling Wine House in Carneros
Founding Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards was the fulfillment of a longtime dream for José Ferrer. José’s father, Pedro, dreamed of expanding the Ferrer’s tradition of exceptional sparkling wine to the New World, and he began searching for land in the United States in the 1930s. José shared this dream with his father and sent his son Pedro, and his family, to California to lay the foundation for the family’s first American winery.
When the Ferrer’s first came from Barcelona, Spain to Sonoma County, California in the 1980s, there was not a single sparkling wine house in Carneros. But the windswept hills, at the time predominantly home to cattle and sheep ranches, awoke a familiar inspiration in José and Gloria Ferrer. The Mediterranean climate, sloping hills, and maritime influences, reminiscent of their native Catalonia, would be ideally suited for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, the two most important sparkling wine grapes.
In 1982, they purchased a 160-acre cattle ranch and planted three-quarters of their new estate to Pinot Noir vines and the remaining quarter to Chardonnay. As the first sparkling wine house in Carneros, Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards opened its doors in 1986 with a new winery designed to resemble a masia (Catalan farmhouse).
Now 25 years later, Gloria Ferrer encompasses 335 acres, including the 128-acre Circle Bar Ranch, and has expanded the wine portfolio to include Pinot Noir and Chardonnay estate varietal wines as a complement to the sparkling wine portfolio. With a winegrowing team headed by VP Production Mike Crumly and Executive Winemaker Bob Iantosca, who share almost a quarter century of vintage memories, Gloria Ferrer continues to garner hundreds of gold medals and top accolades throughout the world.
The family was resolute that, while Gloria Ferrer wines would be true to the Carneros terroir, the winery itself would be a vibrant blend of their cherished Catalan culture and new California home. Their Spanish culture of generosity continues to be expressed through José and Gloria’s commitment to high-quality wines for everyone to enjoy. True to family tradition, the Ferrer’s established Gloria Ferrer Caves & Vineyards with an eye on continuity and long-term sustainability – as a business, and for the land that will sustain the Gloria Ferrer family for generations to come.