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The White House

We are honored that the White House featured our Ryo-fu Chardonnay at a recent State Dinner welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the United States. Read more.

Akiko Freeman

LE.PAN: The small Sonoma winery with Asian ambitions; “We don’t manipulate anything. We just try to grow the best fruit and bring out the best of it. That’s our philosophy.” Read more.


Pinot File
¡Salud! 2013 Russian River Valley Immersion Trip Recap
Freeman Winery and Vineyard, Sebastopol

Ken and Akiko Freeman started their winery in 2001 and since then have developed a style of Russian River Valley and Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir that appeals to those who savor cool-climate wines with lovely, ripe fruit flavors. The veteran winemaker for many years, Ed Kurtzman, has passed the winemaking duties on to Akiko, and has assumed a consulting posture. The 7-acre Freeman Estate Vineyard (Gloria Vineyard) adjacent the winery will produce a vineyard-designated Pinot Noir for the first time from the 2012 vintage, adding to their portfolio of wines produced from sourced grapes. The winery is built into a hillside cave where Ken and Akiko also hold tastings by appointment. Total production is fewer than 5,000 cases which is sold through a mailing list. The winery offers a Sonoma Coast and Russian River Valley appellation Pinot Noir, a Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir, and the Akiko’s Cuvée, which is a barrel selection. An excellent Rosé of Pinot Noir and the Rya-fu Russian River Valley Chardonnay complete the lineup. The wines are distributed to selected retailers and restaurants throughout the United States, and several hundred cases are sent to Japan (Akiko’s birthplace) each year. 

The 2011 Freeman wines were reviewed this past year in the PinotFile (www.princeofpinot.com/winery/501/). After a tasting of the 2011 wines in the winery cave, our group was invited into the Freemans’ home on the property for a lunch. We got a sneak peak at the 2012 Keefer Ranch Pinot Noir which was very special.

Steve Heimoff Wine Blog
More on the troubling 2011 vintage

Here are some wineries that obviously did have the means and will power to produce magnificent 2011 Pinot Noirs: Williams Selyem, Merry Edwards, Paul Hobbs, Rochioli, Lynmar, Dutton-Goldfield, Joseph Phelps, Failla, Thomas Fogarty, Flowers, Testarossa, Tantara, Freeman, Sojourn, Siduri and Foxen. The usual suspects, you say? Exactly. The reason they’re the usual suspects is because these wine companies do what has to be done to produce great wine.

USA Today
5 up-and-coming California wine regions on our radar

Other local wineries utilize the nuanced grapes from the Sonoma Coast. Among them are: MacPhail, Littorai, Paul Hobbs, Halleck Vineyards, Martinelli and Freeman Winery. In fact the Freeman Sonoma Coast Pinot Noir delivers the quintessential flavor of this area – elegant, mysterious, contemplative and simply a stunner in a glass. If visiting, the Timber Cove Inn poses a welcoming retreat overlooking the Pacific Ocean.

Sonoma Discoveries
Wines from the Wild West Coast of Sonoma

For that reason, a small group of vintners banded together in 2011 to form the West Sonoma Coast Vintners (WSCV) to set themselves apart from the much broader Sonoma Coast and distinguish the West Sonoma Coast as one of the world’s leading regions for cool weather Pinot Noir and Chardonnay wines.

“We got together to form an organization that can help consumers understand who we are and help define the region,” said Ken Freeman, one of the founding members of the group, who owns Freeman Vineyards & Winery, with his wife, Akiko, the winemaker. He explained that when the Sonoma Coast AVA was formed it seemed to be put together with what was left over from other Sonoma County growing regions and didn’t fit in an existing appellation. “There was no rhyme or reason” that an appellation included areas 20 miles from the coast, said Freeman. Some vineyard land in the Sonoma Coast AVA abuts the Napa County line, others skirt the northern edge of San Pablo Bay.


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