The SOMM Journal

August / September 2017

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Page 116 of 148

{ real somm stories } 116 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } AUGUST/SEPTEMBER 2017 Kirk Lokka, General Manager/Vineyard Manager for Emeritus Vineyards (a burly, lovable lumberjack of a man), casually teases Heredia, offering her some more fruit, particularly the 828 clone. "Really?!" she says surprised. "I thought I would hold off telling anybody else until I saw you," he says smiling and whispers loudly to me, "My favorite winemakers are the people I've worked with a long time. If I don't like them I get rid of them." EXPRESSIONS FROM THE VINEYARDS BEHIND GARY FARRELL WINERY by Michelle Ball / photos by Jeremy Ball Unparalleled Relationships It's easy to lose oneself when faced with a remark- able wine. That first whiff and I find myself holding my breath, mouth open like a cat, as if to capture those fleeting aromas until they're burned to memory. One of those recently transcendent wines was the Gary Farrell Pinot Noir from Rochioli Vineyard. "A sexy mofo," says Gary Farrell winemaker Theresa Heredia as I attempt to describe the seductively masculine aromas. Together, we tasted through a sampling of their 2014 lineup of Gary Farrell Chardonnays and Pinot Noirs sourced from only a fraction of their many vineyard partners. Despite their local proximity, they couldn't have been more different from one another. Each bot - tling was a unique expression of that site's pedigree and a window into their farming, tied together by Heredia's deft hand in the winery. "Part of what was so enticing for me when I started working here was this map, because we get access to some of the best vineyards in all of Sonoma County," explains Heredia as she points to their map of the Russian River Valley AVA highlighting more than 20 of their growers. The move was the perfect tran - sition for Heredia. In 2002, she was hired by Joseph Phelps to launch Freestone Vineyards, a primarily estate winery located in the Sonoma Coast AVA. There, she

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