The SOMM Journal

December 2017 / January 2018

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Page 72 of 124

72 { THE SOMM JOURNAL } DECEMBER/JANUARY 2017/2018 { industry synergy } TWO WEEKS BEFORE DEVASTATING WILDFIRES ignited much of Sonoma County, The SOMM Journal gathered a group of Bay Area beverage professionals for a tasting event many decades in the making. Winemaking is always a time-intensive practice, but the focus du jour were producers with patience beyond imagining—acclaimed sparkling wine producer Gloria Ferrer and Cognac titan Courvoisier. The Ferrer family has made wine in Spain since the 16th century and opened their Carneros sparkling wine estate in July 1986. According to Vice President of Marketing Eva Bertran, who left Barcelona to intern at Gloria Ferrer during construction and never left: "It's been the same vineyard, cellar, and winemaking crew since the beginning. "This long-term outlook is vital for their méthode Champenoise production: It takes five years for a grapevine to produce enough fruit to harvest, and three years more from harvest until entry-level sparklers are ready for release. For vintage-specific and premium bottlings, the lag between harvest and release can be anywhere from four and a half to ten and a half years. Each separately-vinified lot spends six months in tank after initial fermentation before the base wine is assembled. After blending, the wine is bottled with a new dose of yeast and sugar for a sec - ond fermentation and laid down in the cellar for 18 months to nine years, depending on the label. Riddling then eases the yeast down into the neck and mouth of the bottle. Once the yeast arrives at the mouth of the bottle, the winery disgorges it, adds the final dosage, seals the bottles with the final cork, and lets them rest another three to six months so the sugar can settle in before release. The youngest wine we tasted was the Gloria Ferrer NV Blanc de Noirs, aged 18 months; crisp and clean with lively texture, it had bright raspberry aromas and a touch of cranberry. The pale salmon Gloria Ferrer Brut 2014 Rosé spent three years in the cellar, and boasts a creamier texture along with bright strawberry, cherry, and citrus notes. Playing the Long Game GLORIA FERRER AND COURVOISIER NEVER RUSH PERFECTION by Deirdre Bourdet / photos by Tia Gavin The Gloria Ferrer winery and tasting room overlook its vineyards in Sonoma County. Gloria Ferrer NV Blanc de Noirs was poured for the group of Bay Area experts.

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