Gloria Estate Pinot Noir
Gloria is Freeman’s estate vineyard, located adjacent to the winery. Ken and Akiko acquired this site—previously an apple orchard—from a neighbor in 2005 and planted it the following year. They named the vineyard for the orchard’s owner, Gloria, and especially for the fortuitous event that brought Ken and Akiko together in 1985. Ken had been on a sailboat heading south in the Atlantic when Hurricane Gloria forced him to spend the night in port. That evening he attended a friend’s party where he met Akiko—the best-dressed and most beautiful woman in the room. The rest, of course, is history.
Sitting just 10 miles from the Pacific Ocean, the Gloria vineyard is blessed with a steep hillside for optimal drainage, Goldridge sandy loam soils, and a climate that is sunny but unusually cool, moderated by fog. The Freemans planted the 8-acre vineyard to heritage Pinot Noir clones—Swan, Calera and Pommard—along with Dijon 115. Due to extreme weather conditions and high elevation, yields vary from just 1 to 2 tons per acre. Because Gloria is a difficult site to farm, with steep hillsides and varying exposures, Akiko works closely with Freeman’s vineyard team on all decisions regarding this challenging and rewarding vineyard.
We’re happy to report that 2021 was a smoke-free vintage for all of coastal California, and the first vintage since 2016 that brought virtually no wildfires in Sonoma wine country. This was a stark contrast to 2020, when the entire county’s vineyards were threatened by smoke. After an excellent 2021 growing season at Gloria, we brought in a healthy crop in late August—the first Pinot Noir of the harvest season for Freeman.
Although Gloria is the first vineyard we harvest each year, it is almost always the ripest Pinot Noir in our lineup. The 2021 vintage continues the trend. Dense purple in color, the 2021 Gloria Pinot Noir presents aromas of wild raspberries, black walnuts and toasty oak. These aromas directly reflect the wine’s flavors, with the addition of crème de cassis. The 2021 Gloria has plenty of tannin on the palate, and when its prominent acidity is factored in, the wine should age for more than a decade. Try it in late 2023 or lay it down to enjoy through at least 2035.Download PDF
11 months in French oak:
Five-day cold soak in open-top fermenters, hand-punched down one to three times per day. Free-run juice sent directly to barrel, press wine settled and barreled separately.