Cultivating Carneros Terroir: Blending Innovation and Tradition
The Ferrer family assembled a strong and vibrant winegrowing team with an eye toward longevity, and today Gloria Ferrer’s vineyard crew shares almost a quarter century of vintage memories. “Our crew knows every vine inside and out which allows us to be proactive in managing our vineyards,” says VP Production Mike Crumly, whose tenure began in 1986. With a collective memory gained over decades spent sifting through the same soil, our vineyard and winemaking teams continue to fine-tune their craft with every vintage.
All of the fruit for Gloria Ferrer’s varietal wines and a portion of the fruit for our sparkling wines is cultivated on our two Sonoma Carneros estate properties, both planted to Pinot Noir and Chardonnay: The 207-acre Home Ranch with four different soil types has elevations ranging from 50 to 325 feet. The 128-acre Circle Bar Ranch ranges from 50 to 280 feet and consists of 13 different blocks. Pinot Noir is planted in the rocky, volcanic soils on the estate’s highest ridges. Chardonnay is planted in the clay-rich soils on the lower sections of the estate.
Diverse growing conditions within the two vineyard properties allow Crumly to plant vineyards with particular wines in mind. The well-drained soils of Circle Bar Ranch cultivate intensely flavorful red grapes, while blocks of the Home Ranch are rich in clay, which holds water and slowly releases it to the vines. “The consistent release of water on the valley floor eliminates vine stress — ideal for sparkling wines,” notes Crumly. The most pressing issue in California agriculture is the availability of water. Gloria Ferrer is fortunate to sit atop huge aquifers that provide 200-300 gallons per minute pumped from deep wells on the estate property.
"Winegrowing at Gloria Ferrer is all about collaboration. My job is to provide the winemakers with a variety of different choices, so they become like painters with many different colors on their palette."
- VP Production Mike Crumly