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Gary Farrell Sighting

I went up to Healdsburg for the 25th anniversary dinner for Gary Farrell winery. Gary Farrell, the winery, if you don't know, is one of the top, top producers of Russian River Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. It's one of my faves. But Gary Farrell, the man, is also famously reclusive and shy. He never leads tours of the winery, never shows up to tastings and, generally, makes no appearances.

Though there are pictures of him here and there, I've always questioned whether or not the image in the photos was really Mr. Farrell or just some actor that they got to pose as him. I even began to question whether he even existed or if the idea of this reclusive winemaking genius was just a clever marketing ploy.

Well, I went to the dinner to investigate and found out that, yes, Gary Farrell exists. To prove it, I offer this shot of him in the wild. I know it's blurry and only the back of his head, but trust me--that's him. It was a hard shot to get—we had to wait all day in unbearable heat until around sundown, when Gary and his family came out of hiding and cautiously ambled down to nourish themselves at a local watering hole, Dry Creek Kitchen.

Gary Farrell exists! Here's the back of his head.

I had more shots, but the sound of the shutter of my camera caught Gary's ear (he has highly sensitive hearing) and he came after me with 2004 Chardonnay and 2002 Pinot Noir. After I had disentangled myself from those wines, I went to check my camera—and all that was left of my shots was this photo.

I might have lost to the good photos, but the wines were absolutely delicious, especially if you like Pinot and Chardonnay made to emphasize grace, elegance and harmony.

You can buy them at K&L.