Frey Vineyards

 

Frey Vineyards Family

Frey Vineyard’s emphasis is on producing organic and biodynamic wine of the highest quality while caring for planet and palate alike. They have always been family-owned and operated, and today a third generation helps with the production of fine organic wines in a tradition of sustainability started 30 years ago. Their vineyards and winery are nestled on the slopes of the Redwood Valley A.V.A. (American Viticultural Area) in Mendocino County, California, at the headwaters of the Russian River. All of their wines are made with no added sulfites. Their innovative winemaking techniques compensate for the lack of this synthetic preservative (which can induce headaches, sniffles, and other allergic reactions in some people). The wine is therefore free to reveal its delicate and true flavors.

Paul Sr. and Beba Frey grew up a few blocks apart in the gritty New York City of the 1930’s and 40’s. Paul relished his summer escapes to the Poconos Mountains, Pennsylvania. And Beba found bliss each summer on a Catskill Mountains dairy farm (see photo above). Each vowed to escape the city permanently. They later met and married in medical school. While their family grew, they longed for a life closer to nature and finally settled down in Northern California in the early 1960’s on their ranch in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County. The 12 children grew up instilled with love and respect for the natural environment, and picked up gardening, farming, and agricultural skills, as their parents had dreamed.  Paul Sr. and Beba rounded out their children’s education by schooling them in the sciences, history, literature, classical arts and music, as well as appreciation for world cuisines paired with wine.

The eldest brother Jonathan and his wife Katrina studied organic agriculture under the tutorship of Alan Chadwick, a green-thumb guru of the California 70’s. At the winery’s inception, Jonathan introduced high integrity organic practices that are still in place today.  Brother Matthew, learned the mechanical and technical skills of the wine business when working at nearby wineries. A final touch to the new winery’s credo was that the wine would be made not only from organically grown grapes, but without any added sulfites. In the late 1980’s, Paul Frey Jr. returned from the University of California at Santa Cruz to help perfect the techniques for making wine without the synthetic sulfite preservative, and is today our main winemaker. In 1996, Luke Frey spearheaded the conversion of our estate vineyards to biodynamic cultivation, making Frey Vineyards the first producer of certified Demeter Biodynamic wines in North America.

Frey Vineyards, along with a handful of other family owned vineyards in Mendocino County, joined CCOF (California Certified Organic Farmers) in 1980.  From these vineyards Frey winery created the first wines in the US to be made from certified organic grapes.  In place of chemical fungicides we use natural sulfur and biological controls to combat powdery mildew and botrytis bunch rot.  By creating a bio-diverse farm landscape that encourages natural predators, we eliminate the need for insecticides.  All of our fertility needs are generated on the farm by cover cropping and making compost and by adhering to the biodynamic principles of nurturing the soil and the farm as one living organism.

Frey Vineyards Winery
14000 Tomki Road
Redwood Valley, CA
95470

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