Gary Farrell Winery

Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir 2017

Russian River Valley, California

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Named for its previous owners, the 100-acre Hallberg Vineyard is today owned and managed by wine industry veterans including vineyard manager Kirk Lokka. Nestled in the Green Valley sub-appellation, the site enjoys refreshing daytime breezes and cool nighttime temperatures. The strong marine influence means less severe daily temperature shifts so the vines never completely shut down, producing fruit with deep, dark color, great structure, silky tannins, darker fruit flavors and earthy characteristics. This blend is a composition of many of the best blocks on this cool, foggy vineyard site, which include clones 667, 777, 828, Pommard and a mysterious “suitcase” selection.


The Hallberg Vineyard is located in the Green Valley AVA. This cooler sub-appellation of the Russian River Valley benefits from refreshing daytime breezes and cool, but not cold, nighttime temperatures. Additionally, a strong marine-influenced climate results in smaller diurnal fluctuations (less severe temperature change from day to night and warmer nighttime temperatures) that provides an ideal ripening environment. The soils in this vineyard are Goldridge series sand loam soils that exhibit excellent drainage and low soil fertility, serving to keep vines low in vigor. The use of high density vine spacing (1x2m) promotes excellent vine balance and development of grape flavors, structure, and concentration. Lastly, this vineyard is dry farmed so that the vines are more naturally in balance, creating a wine with a pure expression of this unique terroir.


Grapes were harvested in the morning hours then brought to the winery. After hand sorting, some of the grapes were de-stemmed, then transferred to open-top tanks while a small percentage of the fruit was added later as whole clusters. The juice was chilled to 45°F and allowed to cold soak for 4-7 days before fermentation. During fermentation, the cap was gently punched down 2-3 times per day. After fermentation, the new wine and its solids sat in tank for 7-10 days of extended maceration, a period during which the tannins soften and the primary fermentation esters develop complexity. The wine was then gently pressed off the skins and seeds, inoculated for malolactic fermentation and racked into 40% new French oak barrels (light and medium toast François Frères, Ana Selection, Remond and Tonnellerie O) for 15 months of barrel aging on primary lees.


Winter began with record setting rainfalls, delaying pruning and kicking off a late season from the start. Vine vigor challenges required special attention to canopy management throughout the season. Growers anticipated a larger than average crop so a lot of time was spent shoot thinning, and later, dropping fruit.
The growing season was off to a late start, ~2 weeks later, in fact. Hallberg was picked 9 days later than 2016. A sudden heat wave in June, following a cool, rainy winter and spring, may have shocked the vines and stunted some growth, leading to smaller clusters and berries than had been originally expected. In the end, this helped the vines achieve better balance. Another, more severe heat wave came on August 26th, just five days after harvest began. Temperatures were well above normal and persisted for a solid week or more. Fortunately, due to a preference to pick on the earlier side of the ripeness spectrum, so just over 50% of the entire production was harvested in that 7-day period, including all of the Hallberg blocks.

The resulting fruit yielded copious quantities of bright red & blue fruit flavors and aromas. The wines are fresh, vibrant and concentrated, despite the challenges, with lifted aromas that could trick one into thinking this was a much cooler vintage. Because of the hard work and the dedication of growers, ripeness was spot on target with flavor, acidity ideal Brix, which is quite miraculous in such challenging weather conditions. Extraction during fermentation was fairly easy, requiring only 2-3 punchdowns per day. Post-fermentation maceration averaged 16-21 days. Press wine from our basket press added structure so most of it was included.


“The 2017 Hallberg Vineyard Pinot Noir opens with lush aromas of dark cherries, summer strawberries, and blackberry jam. Generous layers of black tea, freshly foraged mushrooms, dried tobacco, and black olive provide balance to the decadent fruit profile. Intensely concentrated fruit works in seamless harmony with the savory secondary flavors, while finely tuned oak tannins provide texture and exceptional length.” – Winemaker, Theresa Heredia



Grape Varieties

Pinot Noir


Russian River Valley, California



Suggested Retail Price



"Bold, beautifully layered"

Wine Enthusiast - May 27, 2021 “Forceful in black tea, warm spice and forest floor, this bold, beautifully layered vineyard-designate wine is complemented by underlying red tones of pomegranate, cranberry and wild strawberry. Balanced, complex and eminently appealing. It features silky, elegant tannins." - V.B.

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Trade Materials


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