One of Russian River Valley’s hidden treasures is Freeman Vineyard & Winery in Sebastopol. Weave your way along redwood studded roads to the little neighborhood gem on Montgomery Road. Be sure and call ahead for a tasting appointment as it’s a small boutique winery. Chances are, you’ll be greeted by winemaker Akiko Freeman herself.
Established in 2001, Ken and Akiko Freeman determined that the cool, rugged reaches of western Sonoma County would be the ideal spot to plant Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Fruit is sourced from the Gloria Estate Vineyard, located adjacent to the couples’ home and wine cave, and from the Yu-Ki Estate Vineyard, which sits at 1,000 feet elevation only five miles from the Pacific Ocean near the town of Occidental. Both vineyards employ organic and biodynamic farming for the most part with owl boxes as natural rodent control in the vineyards.
Tastings and special events are hosted in the wine cave where the ambient temperature is around 59 degrees. The cool climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is one of the finest in Russian River Valley. As a matter of fact, several years ago, the White House featured a Freeman Winery Chardonnay at a state dinner to welcome Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe.
Friendly hostesses like Kelly Keller, or Jessica Gengler are always on hand to pour the amazing wines and to share fun stories. There’s several beautiful picnic areas under the towering redwoods with endless views of the vineyard in the distance. And, there’s even a cottage available at the top of the property if you want to extend your stay.