As we walked up to Gloria Ferrer in their Spanish-styled building nestled into the hill, the wind was gusting. We were welcomed by a friendly staff. They informed us that instead of a normal tasting room experience, they operate like a wine bar. Which is a little unfortunate since I like to try several wines when I go wine tasting. They have their still wines priced for 2 oz tastes, full glass, and bottle. Unfortunately the sparkling wine is by the glass or bottle. I guess with a large enough group and sharing everyone could taste each bubbly without having to buy more than one glass. Judging by all the people there, this strategy has not hurt their business.
So we made our selections and looked for seating on the deck, which was sunny and wind-free, but it was packed which was a shame because the view of the vineyards on a clear sunny day is breathtaking. So we grabbed a table inside. Even though there were quite a few people inside it wasn't noisy at all and still felt intimate.
The sparkling wines were brought to us along with a small dish of almonds coated in chili flakes which was slightly spicy, but the acid in the sparkling wine cut through the spice making it a wonderful pairing. They also sell hors d'œuvres as well as their own olive oil to pair with your wine choices.
I chose the Royal Cuvée which is a blend of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. On the nose I was greeted by yeast and toast which one always expects from sparkling wines as well as some citrus notes. On the palate I was enthralled with citrus and leading the pack was Meyer lemon. The yeast and toast were continued onto the palate, but stayed in the background of the citrus. There was a hint of tropical notes and honeydew melon. The acid was well balance which yielded a crisp structure. This was just a delight and definitely goes on my favorites of sparkling wine list.
My friend chose the Blanc de Blanc which was less vibrant in the flavors department, but the structure was phenomenal. The wine has some great yeasty notes, but the best part of this sparkling wine was the creamy, full bodied mouth feel.
Note there is also a cave tour if you are there at the right time. If you are interested definitely check out the website for the starting times.