VINEYARD: The McDonald Mountain Vineyard is nestled in a very cool area near the border dividing the Russian River Valley from the Petaluma Gap. This beautiful area, referred to as the Sebastopol Hills neighborhood of the Russian River Valley, is where the fog first arrives inland from the Pacific Ocean in the morning, and where it burns off last in the afternoon. The vineyard was planted in 2008 on one to four feet of Goldridge sandy loam underlain with Los Osos clay. The diverse clonal selection includes 115, 667, 777, Pommard, 828 and Elite. The latter is a suitcase selection that produces some of the most exotic fruit characteristics that we’ve ever tasted from Pinot Noir in Sonoma County. The cool temperatures, daily fog, breezy afternoons, steep slopes and dry farming practices all contribute to the production of very small, but extremely flavor-packed clusters and berries that always retain plenty of natural acidity.
TASTING NOTES: Enticing aromas of white pepper, green tea, and fresh thyme lead the way to an array of dried red fruits and cherry cola. Porcini mushrooms, bay leaf, and an essence of forest floor provide depth and intrigue. The palate is exceptionally bright and vibrant upon entry with flavors of Bing cherry and strawberry preserves. Elegant, silky wood tannins from lightly toasted French oak barrels lend structure and balance while contributing to a long, savory finish.
McDonald Mountain Vineyard
DISTANCE FROM WINERY
30.68 acres planted
VARIETALS SOURCED HERE
Pinot Noir: 115, 667, 777, Pommard, 828, and Elite
Goldridge Sandy Loam underlain with Los Osos Clay
The McDonald Mountain Vineyard is nestled in a very cool area near the border dividing the Russian River Valley from the Petaluma Gap. This beautiful area, referred to as the Sebastopol Hills neighborhood of the Russian River Valley, is where the fog first arrives inland from the Pacific Ocean in the morning, and where it burns off last in the afternoon. The vineyard was planted in 2008 on one to four feet of Goldridge sandy loam underlain with Los Osos clay. The diverse clonal selection includes 115, 667, 777, Pommard, 828 and Elite. The latter is a suitcase selection that produces some of the most exotic fruit characteristics that we’ve ever tasted from Pinot Noir in Sonoma County. The cool temperatures, daily fog, breezy afternoons, steep slopes and dry farming practices all contribute to the production of very small, but extremely flavor-packed clusters and berries that always retain plenty of natural acidity.
Aromas and flavors tend toward black cherry, blackberry & blueberry, purple flowers and exotic spices; textures are luscious and mouth-filling with medium tannins; one of the defining characteristics is a strong acidic core
Vineyard(s): McDonald Mountain
Composition: 100% Pinot Noir
Aging: 16 months in 40% new French oak
pH / T.A.: 3.28 / 7.5gm/L
Production: 462 cases
Trip Advisor | April 2017 | 5/5 Stars“Great tasting experience”What a great wine tasting experience. They are remodeling their tasting room and they have set up these great tents for tasting. They are beautiful, comfortable and give you a wonderful tasting experience in a beautiful setting. Highly recommend it.Trip Advisor | April 2017 | 5/5 Stars“World Class Wines and Wine Country Experience”Gary Farrell delivers the quintessential Sonoma wine country experience: world class pinot noir and chardonnay wines, personable and professional service and in a beautiful setting (cannot wait to see the renovated tasting room this summer!). Call ahead to reserve a wine tasting.Trip Advisor | March 2017 | 5/5 Stars“Perfect Wine Tasting Experience”The location is breathtaking and the gorgeous weather made the scenery even more spectacular! The glamping tents were super fun and I can't wait to return when the full renovation is complete. Our host, Pierre, was excellent - very knowledgeable and professional yet down to earth and engaging. I joined a party of 4 and I believe everyone had a memorable experience.Trip Advisor | March 2017 | 5/5 Stars“A must for wine tasting”This was the second visit we had made for the wine tasting, we were absolutely impressed!!! The staff was very friendly and made the tour worth all of our time!!Trip Advisor | March 7, 2017 | 5/5 Stars“Wine tasting excellene”I am a member of this winery but they do require a reservation if you come outside of the pick-up parties. Not knowing what to expect, we made the reservation. Think more of a class session with amazing wines and your very own sommelier. He took a great amount of time with us and helped to guide me and my wife, with a map, as to the regions of Northern California wine that we prefer, based on taste. What a gift! Would visit again for this special trip. The building is under construction right now but we were assured it would be completed before summer. The view is spectacular too. Love, love, love this winery.Trip Advisor | February 21, 2017 | 5/5 Stars“Excellent wine in a beautiful region”Of the 30 or so wineries we have tried in Sonoma, Gary Farrell has the strongest across the board line up of Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. Their current release shows the exceptional, fruit driven range of the region. A must hit in the Russian River Valley. The only downside is that they only offer a limited number of reservations, so plan ahead!Trip Advisor | February 7, 2017 | 5/5 Stars“Magical Wine Tasting”Although Gary Farrell is under a renovation, they have substituted their beautiful tasting room with intimate and magical tasting tents with beautiful views of their property. You almost feel like you are on a wine tasting safari. The tasting is elegant and rustic at the same time, just perfect. The fur blankets and heaters ensures even the highest maintenance guest cannot complain. The wine is delicious as ever, and the staff is beyond knowledgeable but also fun. Make sure you visit before the renovation is done to experience this very unique tastingTrip Advisor | January 5, 2017 | 5/5 Stars“Best wine, great ambiance!.”My husband and I visited on the weekend to Sonoma. We were referred by a friend. The winery tasting room is actually under construction but it did not hinder our experience one bit. We sat in a semi private beautiful, heated platform tent. Having been to many wineries over the last five years, we were very impressed with the entire wine tasting experience. Our guide was very informative and pleasant and the wines were just delightful! We can't wait to go back once the wine tasting room is finished. We have become members and can't wait to open our next battle !Yelp | October 25, 2016 | 5/5 Stars“Superb tour and history of the winery.”Superb tour and history of the winery. I really appreciated all of the details about the vineyards they choose and the processes they go through. The storage area was immaculate and you could just feel the passion that goes into creating great wines. The tasting room was top notch and I loved getting to converse with the other people on our tour, finding out what they like and where they were from. Best of all were the views from the tasting area. The weather was overcast and cool, giving it an ethereal feel. I would love to take an evening tour sometime, I'm sure that's even more breathtaking.Trip Advisor | September 15, 2016 | 5/5 Stars“The Most Beautiful View in Wine Country.”If you are looking for an amazing tasting experience that combines very special wine with an unparalleled view -- go to Gary Farrell. Perched atop a hill overlooking the Russian River Valley, this is a fantastic break from some of the busier wineries in Sonoma and Napa. Quiet, peaceful, and with amazing wine. It's a truly special place.Trip Advisor | August 24, 2016 | 5/5 Stars“Expensive, but worth it.”This is the most beautiful tasting room and terrace that I have seen. It is way up a hill overlooking the valley. It is designed for the views which are fantastic. You can sit outside or inside at the bar and taste first class wines, but take your time as you enjoy the scenery because it is expensive and you will probably need a reservation.Trip Advisor | July 11, 2016 | 5/5 Stars“Another successful wine pick up”Gary Farrell is always a great stop. I live close enough to pick up and look forward to it with each shipment. I love that I can customize my wine club shipments and have not had a problem scheduling a terrace tasting. The employees are knowledgeable and friendly. The view is spectacular and the wine never disappoints.Yelp | June 7, 2016 | 5/5 Stars“Loved all that we tried”Have visited 6 wineries / tasting rooms this week. This is the only one that I am reviewing. VIEW-unreal. Simply stunning view. WINE-loved all that we tried. Big fan of lower alcohol wines because I like to actually taste the fruit. HOST(ESS)-Lydia was fantastic. Very friendly and enjoyed conversing with her and the others.Trip Advisor | May 11, 2016 | 5/5 Stars“Tasting at Gary Farrell Winery”The tasting experience at Gary Farrell is fantastic! The tasting was beautifully laid out in a private room. And, our "host" was extremely knowledgeable, thoughtful, and accommodating. Every part of the experience was a wonderful wine journey. Unforgettable!