Gary Farrell Vineyards & Winery
10701 Westside Road
Photo by Rachel Weill, AFAR Media
Gary Farrell Vineyards & WineryThe perspective from Gary Farrell Winery, on the outskirts of Healdsburg, is distinctive. Perched high on a ridge above Sonoma County’s Russian River Valley, you get a sense of the fog that makes this growing region so perfect—the clouds trap cool air and moisture down below, enabling pinot noir and chardonnay grapes to mature slowly. This general understanding of the microclimate only enhances your enjoyment of the wine itself, which winemaker Theresa Heredia has made with a deft touch since 2012. After extensive renovations to the main tasting salons in 2017, the visitor experience at Gary Farrell now ranks as one of the best in the county, especially if you reserve a spot on the covered patio outside. All the tastings are seated; the Inspiration Tasting matches six wines with three small bites from chef Didier Ageorges, while the Exploration Tasting includes a tour, five wines, and a cheese-and-nuts plate. Both experiences take about 90 minutes and reservations are suggested. In case you’re wondering, although his name is still on the wine and the winery, Gary Farrell himself—a true pioneer of pinot noir in the Russian River Valley—hasn’t been involved in day-to-day operations since he sold the winery to the Vincraft Group in 2004.