Gary Farrell Winery

Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018

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 in the cool morning hours at ~22.5° Brix. A quick pass was made through the rows a few days prior to harvest in order to drop fruit that didn’t express the optimal flavor concentration. As anticipated, the grapes that were delivered to the winery were packed with delicious, vibrant, varietally expressive characteristics. After a very careful hand-sorting, all fruit was combined in the press, and used a gentle program to extract only the most desirable solids and phenolics. The resulting juice was left in tank to cold-settle overnight before transferring to 35% new and 65% one to three-year old neutral French oak barrels and puncheons for fermentation and aging, where it remained for 9 months on its primary lees until it was time to bottle in June. The wine was racked off the primary lees only once, just before bottling.


After several years of drought, heat and early harvests, 2018 was a breath of fresh air and a return to a more normal harvest onset. The season began with a cold, wet winter, which set the pace in that it delayed vine development by 3-4 weeks. Budbreak began mid to late March, followed by a mild, sunny spring. When bloom ensued in mid to late May, the weather was just right, with very little wind and no rain to damage the delicate flowers. When growers saw the generous potential cluster count after flowering, they knew it was going to be an ample crop. The nearly perfect weather throughout the summer months led to a very large, yet excellent quality crop. The month of August yielded typical, foggy Russian River Valley mornings, with sun finally breaking through late morning and vanishing again late afternoon. Harvest commenced on August 30th and was finished by September 29th, just before the rain came. Despite the quantity of clusters per vine, flavor, concentration and tannin levels were quite excellent. Canopy management was extremely important in that fruit thinning was necessary at multiple stages of vine development.


“Attractive citrus notes of lemon tart, grapefruit and lime zest initially open up in the glass, followed by rich aromas of honeysuckle, lemongrass and pie crust. The palate opens up with flavors of roasted Meyer lemon, wildflower honey, apricot and peach. The texture is rich and creamy with an underlying layer of acidity and loads of fleshy fruit that linger into a persistent finish.” – Winemaker, Theresa Heredia



Grape Varieties



Russian River Valley, California




"Minerally and fresh"

Wine Spectator - June 17, 2021 Featured Smart Buy  "Minerally and fresh, with hints of dried mint and anise to the fresh-cut green apple and Asian pear flavors. The svelte finish is backed by crunchy acidity and filled with toasty accents." - K.M. 

"Textured and complex"

Wine Enthusiast - July 6, 2021 "With classic notes of green apple, white flower and lime, this impressively layered white is quenching in acidity, with a subtle backbone of toasted oak. Textured and complex, it unfurls lovely additional notes of candied lemon and wild honey." - P.G. 

More on Gary Farrell Winery Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018

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January 5, 2021 - Wine writer Gabe Sasso is joined by The Wine Chef, Lisa Denning, for his video series One Bottle Each. In this episode, they discuss the Gary Farrell 2018 Olivet Lane…

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April 16, 2021 - USA Today selected Gary Farrell Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2018 as a top toast for Mother's Day this year. The story notes that the Russian River Valley region makes "world-class chardonnay,…

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