Gary Farrell Winery

Olivet Lane Chardonnay 2017

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.


Harvest began on August 21st, the day of the total eclipse, 11 days later than the year before, so hang-time was in keeping with historical averages, but it commenced in a flash. Seven percent of grapes came in the first week, followed by 53% the second week during a severe heat wave. The remainder of harvest after Labor Day seemed to steady a bit as the weather cooled down slightly. The final fruit of the season came in on the last day of summer and the last day of sorting was September 22nd. We find it curious that we started on the day of the total eclipse and wrapped up with our last day of sorting on the Autumn Equinox. Planning ahead and pre-scheduling picks before the heat wave, in addition to overnight refrigeration and overall team efficiency smoothed over a lot of this rapid harvest’s bumps. Thanks to our grower partners and our own hard work, the flavor and ripeness of the wines is excellent. To our pleasant surprise, ~95% of the grapes came in on target, between 22-24.5 Brix, which is miraculous given the extreme conditions. This is definitely an indication of our overwhelming dedication to quality, but it is also a great reward for the hard work and long hours that went into making the 2017 vintage wines.


Inviting aromas of apples, peaches, and pears introduce this Chardonnay from the historic Olivet Lane vineyard. Notes of honeysuckle, jasmine, and beeswax seamlessly integrate with the fruit profile, displaying the intrigue and depth that this site consistently offers. Firm acidity provides an excellent counterpoint to the complex aromatics, shining the way from start to finish.



Grape Varieties



Russian River Valley, California




"Bright, focused and fresh"

Wine Enthusiast - May 5, 2020 “Bright, focused and fresh, this wine is defined by its lifted acidity and elongated texture. Apple, pear and nutmeg go along for the ride, punctuating the concentrated fruit core while honeysuckle lingers on the finish.”

Wine Spectator - April 9, 2020 Full Review to be Published in June 2020

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