Process to Excellence
Season of Abundance - Harvest
Committed to the quality of our grapes and respectful of the people who pick them, Gloria Ferrer harvests at night, a practice that conserves both natural and human resources. Dedicated to making California-style sparkling wines, the Ferrer family imported only three winemaking techniques from Spain: handpicking the grapes, carrying them to the winery in small bins to avoid oxidation, and gently pressing the fruit in whole clusters using membrane presses to prevent damage and ensure the highest quality. The juice is then transferred into stainless steel tanks to settle for 12-24 hours. The clean juice is racked and decanted off the solids and into small individual tanks where it is inoculated with yeast for the primary fermentation. Juice for Gloria Ferrer’s Brut Rosé and Blanc de Noirs remains in the tanks longer to allow greater contact with the skins. This contact gives these wines their pink hue and red fruit flavors, becoming components of the blending palette.
The juice ferments for approximately one week at temperatures between 55 and 65 degrees, after which time it is again racked and settled until it is ready for the initial blending in tanks. The wines are then cold and heat stabilized.
Blending, Bottling, and Aging our Sparkling Wines
Numerous and diverse vineyard blocks are kept separate throughout the entire winemaking process. After a series of trials, final blends are chosen. Approximately 50 individual wine lots become our blending palette from which seven diverse Gloria Ferrer sparkling wines are crafted by our winemaking team in November and December. Using Gloria Ferrer’s own yeast cultures, the wines are re-inoculated and bottled. Wines go through a second fermentation after bottling. This second fermentation inside the bottle converts sugar into alcohol, producing carbon dioxide (CO2), which is what transforms still wine into elegant sparkling wine.
Bottles are secured with crown caps and laid down to age on the yeast for anywhere from 18 months up to 9 years, depending on the wine. During the aging process, trapped CO2 produces the tiny bubbles, or mousse, as well as the structure of the sparkling wine. When this stage is complete, wines are moved from tirage bins to riddling bins, where the yeasty sediment is gently shaken into the neck of the bottle. The neck is then iced to prepare for disgorgement. It takes anywhere from 2 to 10 years to make a great bottle of Gloria Ferrer sparkling wine. With each new vintage, Gloria Ferrer’s vineyard and winemaking teams draw on decades of shared experience to create wines that reflect our specific microclimate and our Carneros terroir.