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Friday Fishwrap: Random Jottings at Week's End
Where The Vines Meet The Bay: Gloria Ferrer
     ~~It’s a little slice of heaven

You will soon discover, if you have not already, that there is a common theme running through our choices of wine country visits. We don’t ask much. We only want the wine to be good, the place to be easy on the eyes and the reception from the winery to be comfortable. Oh, and it would not hurt if the winery were tops in all three of those categories.

Picture this. You are sitting on your deck looking out over rolling hills, vineyards, soaring raptors riding the breeze, ancient biplanes flitting by, a view of the Bay in the distance and along comes your butler with a glass of perfectly chilled sparkling wine in his hand. Is that not a little bit of heaven? Well, it can be all yours when you visit the Gloria Ferrer winery south of Sonoma town. It is a favorite Saturday afternoon stop of ours on wine country drives, and it serves, for us, as the entry point for a day spent in and around Sonoma itself. Tours are available at mid-day and include tastes of the bubbly, or you can just sit out on the deck, under one of the expansive umbrellas and sip sparkling wine at nominal cost. But, do remember this. Gloria Ferrer is just the first stop, and as much fun as you as having in this little slice of heaven, there is a lot more to see in the area.

We will have much more to say about the Sonoma town area in coming blog entries. Tomorrow, for example, we will tell you why you need to stop at a ramshackle store and pick up the surprisingly good homemade victuals available there. On other days, we will offer insights to other wineries and to the several very special restaurants in Sonoma ranging from beer gardens to long-time favorites like The Girl and The Fig. But, first you have to get there, and Gloria Ferrer, with its spectacular hillside-setting and its delicious bubbly is very often our first stop.

Gloria Ferrer Winery
23555 Carneros Highway (Hwy 121)
Sonoma, California 95476

Click to show in Google Maps

Note: The address is often referred to as Arnold Drive on Internet Map Services and on some GPS units, including ours:
23555 Carneros Hwy. 121 (also called Arnold Drive- if you are using a GPS to find us be sure to enter Arnold Drive) in Sonoma, California



This inspired by the Decanter Magazine Breaking News feature:

A few months ago, the Wine Spectator’s chief European writer, Jim Suckling, suddenly disappeared from those sanctified premises, only to pop up on the Internet everywhere and anywhere. “What is Jim Suckling up to?” asked one email I received from a usually knowledgeable insider. Well, now the cat is out of the bag. Mr. Suckling, who once played on the SF winewriters softball team (a story for another day, that), has apparently been making wine and videos out of sight of us all. Follow the link to Decanter to see how Suckling is making wine sponsored by some rich ecumenical organization out of London and will have his wines from five countries served to the Pope in the coming days. And as if making wine for the Pope were not enough, apparently Mr. Suckling has been amassing video interviews of important wine people. Look for to debut next month.

Our Comment: We usually comment on our News of The Day items, but it is hard to top having your wine debut in front of the Pope. We can’t top that and we imagine that Jim Suckling will be hardpressed to outdo himself any time soon.

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