Frey’s Biodynamic Vineyards And Sulfite-Free Wines
Local Food And Wine
Frey Vineyards is situated in the beautiful Redwood Valley in Mendocino County, California, and was actually the very first organic winery in the United States.
Paul and Beba Frey both grew up in Brooklyn, New York, and after they were married settled in Redwood Valley. They raised their twelve children with love of the land and agriculture.
In the late 1960s the Freys planted Cabernet Sauvignon and Gray Riesling grapes on the ranch’s old pastureland, selling the fruit to nearby wineries. Jonathan and Matthew Frey, two of the couple’s sons, realized the vineyards’ potential when a Cabernet Sauvignon made from Frey’s grapes won a gold medal for a Santa Cruz winery and established Frey Vineyards the following year. That was in 1980.
Frey Vineyards is a completely family owned and operated business. Seven of the twelve Frey children, along with some of their spouses, work full time at the winery. Sustainable practices have been the plan from the beginning; the family knew they were there to stay, wished to contribute to the overall ecological community instead of robbing from it, and wanted a legacy to pass on to their children.
Frey was the first maker of certified Biodynamic wines in the U.S.
- Biodynamic: In harmony with nature.
Frey Vineyards, of Mendocino County, produces organic wines with no sulfites added that are also vegan and gluten-free. Their organic white wines are fined using only bentonite clay. The red wines are not fined.
Biodynamic farming nurtures and feeds the soil and recycles its nutrients. Some examples of how this pertains specifically to wine-making: all the grape waste is composted and the resulting compost is used in the vineyards, fruits are harvested by hand, and synthetic preservatives are prohibited.
Frey Biodynamic® Winemaking
Biodynamic Winemaking & Terroir Authenticity
The most exciting aspect of Biodynamic winemaking for us is the prohibition of cultured yeast and malolactic bacteria. This preserves and protects the terroir (the subtle flavors of the vineyard site and vintage).
Recently, on Jan. 9th, Frey Vineyards hosted a lecture put on by the Biodynamic Association of Northern California where the subject was The Cow Horn: Form and Function. Sometimes biodynamic is referred to as a “cult” because of the devotion of its followers. Here’s how the lecture was described:
“This lecture traces the laws of form that underlie a horn’s structure, deepening our understanding of the choice of the cow horn for the 500 and 501 biodynamic preparations. By contrasting horn and antler formation as a polarity of skin and blood, and comparing protein structure to silica crystal formation, we will build a foundation for understanding the principles of capacitance and force amplification in the horn which make it the ideal sheath for the preparations.”
And on January 8th they hosted another day long lecture series event put on by the Coros Institute that, “traced the activities of warmth, light, and rhythm in the life forms of the natural world. The intent is to form a picture of ‘the etheric.'”
Interested? Read more here and also for a Calender of Biodynamic Events.