Gary Farrell Winery

Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2016

Russian River Valley, California

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Pellegrini’s Olivet Lane Vineyard was planted in 1975 to Wente selection on AXR rootstock. The vineyard sits on 65 acres of sloping bench land in the Santa Rosa Plain, in between the warmer Westside Road region and the cooler Green Valley,where warm summer days are moderated by cool breezes and chilly evening temperatures. The combination of low temperatures, regular fog intrusion and well drained loam, clay soils create an excellent environment for growing Chardonnay that develop cool-climate characteristics and impeccable acid at fairly low sugars.The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance.


The Olivet Lane Vineyard is comprised of approximately .60 planted acres located on the Olivet Road in Santa Rosa, seven miles from Gary Farrell Winery. Located in the heart of the Russian River Valley, in a sub-region called the Santa Rosa Plain, this unique site is heavily influenced by fog that rolls in through the Petaluma Gap to the south. The rolling bench land location, well-drained, gravelly, clay loam soil and east/west vine exposure, combined with long, cool nights, all create optimum growing conditions for producing world-class Chardonnay great for ripening.

Nearly two-thirds of the vineyard is planted to Wente selection Chardonnay (planted in 1973 on AXR rootstock), a heritage selection that produces some of the best Chardonnays in all of California. The old vines create natural vine balance, excellent concentration and ample quantities of natural acidity. The vines are cane pruned, vertical shoot positioning (VSP) and faithfully tended by Robert Pellegrini for the past 40 years. The wines from this vineyard simultaneously express power and finesse, and they do so with tremendous balance.


The grapes were harvested at 22° Brix in the cool morning hours to preserve freshness and fruit integrity, then whole cluster pressed using a gentle press program tailored specifically to the qualities of the vineyard. After pressing, the juice was chilled to 45°F in tank, and allowed to settle for 24 hours before inoculating with Montrachet yeast. The wine was then transferred to 35% new French oak barrels (François Frères, DAMY, Dargaud & Jaegle, Cavin and Remond), with just the right amount of light, fluffy, creamy lees for a healthy fermentation. The barrel selection, a mixture of light and medium toast barrels and 500-L puncheons, was chosen to add subtle structure and aromatics, and to polish the finished wine without dominating its expression of place. The wines were racked off the primary lees only once, just before bottling. After 9 months of aging, each barrel was carefully evaluated and the most elegantly structured wines were selected for this
beautiful single vineyard wine.


The 2016 vintage was an exceptional year for Russian River Valley wines. Harvest seems to start early every year now in Sonoma County, and this season was no exception. Much needed winter rains alleviated some of the drought pressure and vine development was able to begin early. This, coupled with a remarkably slow and steady ripening season, gave the grapes plenty of time to develop perfect balance, structure, and an amazing complexity of flavors. The 2016 Chardonnay crop was medium in size, while the quality and overall integrity of the fruit was among the best that we’ve ever seen at the winery. Cooler than average daytime highs and cold nights gave us the opportunity to pick the fruit exactly when it was ready, giving us wines that have tremendous concentration, finesse, and beautiful natural acidity. We were fortunate to experience another spectacular vintage in the Russian River Valley, and are excited to see how the wines evolve as they age in our barrel cellar.


The Olivet Lane Vineyard is consistently a benchmark for Chardonnay in Russian River Valley, and the 2016 delivers without fail. Its’ always welcome nose of Meyer lemon, crisp apple and Satsuma mandarin fill the glass alongside the intoxicating aroma of freshly baked butter cookies. The palate is equally as generous, offering layers of lemon cream, coriander, brioche and flaky puff pastry, and the supple, lengthy finish leaves nothing to be desired.



Grape Varieties



Russian River Valley, California




"Round mouthfeel that’s complemented by bright acidity"

James Suckling - January 16, 2020 “Plenty of cooked apples, dried daffodils, Chinese plums, cantaloupe melon, vanilla and cloves. Medium-bodied with a round mouthfeel that’s complemented by bright acidity and a tight frame of phenolics."

"Pure and focused"

Wine Spectator - January 16, 2020 “Pure and focused, with an engaging minerality to the well-structured McIntosh apple, Asian pear and lemon-lime flavors. Show juicy crispness on the finish, with notes of crushed savory herb."

"Wicked backbone of racy acid"

Wine Advocate - January 16, 2020 “Expressive apricot, pink grapefruit and apple pie notes with touches of struck flint, marzipan and beeswax. Medium-bodied with a wicked backbone of racy acid, it features loads of citrus and stone fruit flavors and a long, zesty finish."

More on Gary Farrell Winery Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2016

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June 26, 2020 - Enjoy this video, providing an overview of Gary Farrell Winery's partnership with Olivet Lane Vineyard in the Santa Rosa Plains neighborhood of Russian River Valley. This vineyard is a source…

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Trade Materials

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