A Love Story and Wine
A love story and wine starts with the stormy winds of hurricane Gloria, blowing into the New York area. Little did Ken and Akiko know the winds were also bringing in love. On September 18, 1985 they met at the home of a friend and 35 years later, their love and devotion has grown and love for wine has inspired them to start their own winery and vineyards, Freeman Vineyard and Winery.
During our conversation Ken and Akiko share the unique qualities of their vineyard and winery, making their favorite wine Pinot Noir. Freeman Vineyard & Winery is the culmination of a 20-year dream shared by Ken and Akiko Freeman to craft elegant, cool-climate California Pinot Noir and Chardonnay in a sophisticated, Burgundian style. To achieve this goal, the Freemans work with a small portfolio of elite partner growers in the Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast appellations, with an emphasis on hillside vineyards featuring Goldridge soils, cooling marine influences, low yields, and ideal clonal selections.
The Freemans also own two estate vineyard properties that are an integral part of their winemaking program: the Gloria Vineyard in Sebastopol, and the Yu-Ki Vineyard in Occidental. Gloria sits adjacent to the winery, in the coolest, westernmost part of the Russian River Valley appellation. Set above the town of Occidental, Yu-ki is located five miles from the ocean at an elevation of 1,000 feet.
Winemaker Akiko Freeman continually strives to create refined, small-production wines that express a distinctive sense of place. From hand-sorting the fruit to the final blending, Akiko’s meticulous, hands-on approach brings out remarkable depth and complexity in the wines, allowing them to pair seamlessly with the diverse flavors of contemporary, global cuisine. As a result, Freeman wines have garnered international praise and found a home on some of the world‘s most discriminating wine lists, including rare offerings as verticals at such revered Michelin three-star establishments as the French Laundry and Alain Ducasse.
*Bio info from Freeman Vineyard and Winery
*Photos – Freeman Vineyard and Winery