Gary Farrell Winery has appointed Theresa Heredia as winemaker, effective May 1. The long-time winemaker at Freestone Vineyards in Sonoma County, Heredia brings extensive experience with cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay as well as small-lot, single-vineyard wines. Gary Farrell Winery specializes in Pinot Noir and Chardonnay from some of the top vineyard sites in the Russian River Valley.
At Freestone, Heredia’s Pinot Noir and Chardonnay brought the Joseph Phelps-owned winery significant critical acclaim. She made the first vintage of Freestone wines in 2002 when it was still an experimental project at Phelps, and she later moved to the Sonoma Coast to open the new Freestone winery in 2007. In early 2012 she was named “Winemaker to Watch” by the San Francisco Chronicle, reflecting her interest in wines that offer a pure expression of their vineyard site and her willingness to experiment with different winemaking techniques.
Heredia brings a hands-on Burgundian perspective to Gary Farrell Winery, having worked in France at Domaine de Montille. She trained with renowned winemaker Craig Williams at Joseph Phelps Vineyards in the Napa Valley, after starting her career as an enologist for Saintsbury. Heredia was a Ph.D. candidate in chemistry with an emphasis on enology at U.C. Davis, before leaving to follow her calling as a hands-on winemaker. She has a bachelor’s degree in biochemistry from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo
“Theresa is a visionary leader who brings us a spirit of innovation in winemaking and an impressive background in cool-climate, single-vineyard wines,” noted Nancy Bailey, general manager for Gary Farrell Winery. “She has a keen appreciation for our house style, which emphasizes elegance and balance in the wines. Theresa’s experience and interest in exploration, both in the vineyards and in the winery, make her an ideal person to carry on our strong legacy, while adding her own signature to Gary Farrell Winery.”
Heredia replaces Susan Reed as winemaker for Gary Farrell Winery, which was founded by Gary Farrell in 1982. A pioneer in the Russian River Valley wine region, winemaker Gary Farrell released his first fifty cases of 1982 Rochioli-Allen Pinot Noir in 1985 to widespread critical acclaim. For more than 25 years, Gary Farrell Winery has crafted small-lot artisan wines that capture the balance and stylistic elegance of some of the finest vineyard sites in the region. Farrell sold the winery in 2004, and today Gary Farrell Winery is owned by The Vincraft Group, a fine-wine investment company run by wine industry veterans Pete Scott, Walt Klenz and Bill Price. Vincraft is nurturing Gary Farrell’s legacy of producing small lots of Burgundian-styled, varietally expressive and regionally distinctive Russian River Valley Pinot Noir and Chardonnay at its beautifully designed winery on Westside Road near Healdsburg in northern Sonoma County. Additional information on the winery is available at www.garyfarrellwinery.com.