In the lore of California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, there may be no more hallowed ground than the Russian River Valley. With its steep hillsides, perfect Goldridge loam soils and a climate shaped by evening fog and cool marine breezes that ebb and flow through the Petaluma Gap and up the Russian River, conditions are near perfect for growing these classic grapes.
The soil here is suited for high-quality wine grapes because of its excellent drainage and low fertility. Under these conditions vineyard care is paramount, and with the right management, grapes can be coaxed into greatness. This is home to the Freeman Winery and its 8-acre Gloria Estate Vineyard, located in the fog-chilled Green Valley district, on a steep hillside going from 200 to 400 feet in elevation. Situated very close to the border with the Sonoma Coast AVA, Gloria Estate is a particularly cool Russian River Valley vineyard.