Steven Urberg’s finely tuned sense of focus, passion for detail, and strong science background are indispensable in crafting Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines. As a young man from Detroit, who came to California by way of U.C. Berkeley for graduate school in chemistry, Steven discovered that winemaking provides a way in which to use his innate technical ability in creating wine as an art.
His journey into winemaking began in 1995, when he decided to take a break from chemistry. He was offered a job at the Hess Collection, working in the cellar, and he never looked back. “The excitement of that first harvest at the Hess Collection inspired me to take a left turn from the path of chemistry research, return to graduate school at U.C. Davis, and pursue my new passion of winemaking,” says Urberg.
Steven first arrived at Gloria Ferrer during the harvest of 1996 and he returned in 2001 as a full-time member of the Gloria Ferrer winemaking team. He joined Bob Iantosca and Mike Crumly, who have grown grapes and made Gloria Ferrer wines together for more than a quarter century.
With his tremendous ability for hard work and focus, Steven Urberg integrates his scientific background with inspired artistry in crafting elegant and balanced Gloria Ferrer sparkling and estate varietal wines. “I enjoy the exercise in subtlety involved with making sparkling wines. The challenge lies in creating the delicate texture and mouthfeel, while maintaining balance with the fruit structure. The same challenge lies in Pinot Noir estate varietal wines, where blending to achieve the silky mouthfeel is as important as the balance of the fruit, spice, and earth characters that are so irresistible in Carneros Pinot Noir,” says Urberg. The diverse array of clones planted on the Gloria Ferrer estate vineyards, married with the Carneros terroir, result in a palate of flavors that is a dream come true to a scientist with an artistic bent.
Clearly, Steven has the discipline and talent required to create the Gloria Ferrer wines that are true expressions of the Carneros region — sparkling and estate varietal wines — vintage to vintage. Gloria Ferrer wines have been award over 400 gold medals over the last 5 years.
When not making wine, Steven enjoys cooking, entertaining, woodworking, and gardening.