Failla is on the Sonoma Coast. It was founded in 1998 by the husband-and-wife team of Ehren Jordan and Anne-Marie Failla and it was known as Failla Jordan. Three years later they were legally required to change the name of their winery because of an already existing winery called Jordan Vineyards. Failla Jordan shortened their business name simply to Failla with the 2002 vintage. Winemaker Ehren Jordan worked in winemaking in the Rhone Valley and then became winemaker at Neyers Vineyards and Turley Wine Cellars. Failla makes primarily Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Robert M. Parker Jr. has generally rated Failla wines in the 90s, and notes that Ehren Jordan “continues to exhibit a French-inspired sensitivity to winemaking….Failla is an excellent source of elegant, flavor-filled, complex wines…”
Sonoma County is not an AVA, but it is a commonly used informal designation for wines made outside of more specific AVAs within Sonoma, which is a large wine producing region just west of Napa Valley. Though Sonoma is often overshadowed by its glamorous neighbor Napa Valley, it has a long history of wine production. The area specialized in jug wine until the mid-20th century, when Sonoma producers took a cue from Napa and started improving quality. Unlike Napa, where Cabernet Sauvignon is king, Sonoma specialized in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Zinfandel, though excellent Cabs are produced too. There are at present 16 AVAs within Sonoma County, and, like much of the West Coast of the United States, new AVAs are created in Sonoma County with regularity. Some Sonoma appellations, such as the Russian River Valley, are renowned for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
This grape is grown in milder climates and produces a medium-to full-bodied wine. It is also known as Shiraz, but should not be confused with Petit Sirah, which was developed by crossing Syrah with Peloursin.