Frey Vineyards Family
Marguerite Frey – Mother
Frey matriarch Margurite “Beba” Frey was raised in Brooklyn NY. The daughter of a Lutheran Minister, Beba and her five siblings grew up in a German neighborhood not far from her future-husband Paul. At age 8, she worked on a dairy farm of a family friend in the Catskill Mountains. She returned every summer for the next 20 years, and thereafter eschewed city life.
Smart and motivated, Beba studied medicine and became an MD in 1951. She married Paul Frey, also a doctor, and the two started their large family. Their long career as doctors took them to many places, including the Navajo reservation in Arizona.
The joy and satisfaction of country life inspired the two young doctors to find a place in the country to raise their 12 children. In 1960 they bought their home ranch in rural Redwood Valley, and Beba practiced medicine at clinics and state hospitals in the area. Beba was instrumental in the winery’s early days and today assists in the office and fills cases faster than anyone on the bottling line!
Paul Frey Sr. – Father
Medical doctor, psychiatrist, Lutheran minister, talented pianist, learned historian, and father of twelve, the late Paul Frey was a modern day Renaissance Man. Paul came from a long line of Lutheran ministers in the New York area, including his grandfather who had immigrated from Germany in the 1880s.
His summers spent in the Poconos Mts. instilled a deep love of nature in Paul and he hoped to give the same gift to his children. He and Beba moved west, working as doctors in New Hampshire, Indiana, Arizona and California. When they moved to Mendocino County, they knew they had found home. Paul oversaw the planting of the first Frey grapevines and our Frey logo is based on his signature. Paul passed away in 1990 and is remembered by our family as a brilliant, dynamic man.
Jonathan Frey – General Manager
Our sulfite-free organic wine philosophy first began with our original winemaker Jonathan Frey. Learning techniques from Coturri winery in Sonoma County, Jonathan strove to make our wine a true organic product from the start in 1980. After training his younger brother Paul for many years he handed to him the bulk of the winemaking duties, allowing him time to care for broader issues such as new development, financing and compliance.
With a background in science from UC Santa Cruz, Jonathan and his wife Katrina studied with the acclaimed English Gardener Alan Chadwick. Chadwick's teachings of bio-intensive farming have guided the winery in its farming techniques. Jonathan's interest and continual research in food quality and optimum nutrition shows in our award-winning wines. He is also interested in alternative energy technologies and is a co-founder of REDI (Renewable Energy Development Institute). As our general manager, he makes sure the business is in line with our goal of becoming a completely self-sustainable enterprise while promoting the highest standards of organic agriculture and winemaking.
Katrina Frey – Director of Sales and Marketing
There aren't many jobs Katrina hasn't worked at Frey Vineyards. She has worn the hat of grape-picker, bottler, saleswoman – you name it! Katrina developed our sales and marketing branch and acts as our office manager. In addition to her work at the winery Katrina is the President of the Board of Demeter USA (our national Biodynamic certification agency). She gives her time generously to organic issues such as non-GMO activism and food safety, as well as Mendocino County's local Phoenix Hospice.
Under Katrina's community minded guidance Frey Vineyards has generously donated product and funds to local and national environmental and social justice charities and non-profits. As a leader in the organic industry since day one, Katrina has been a featured speaker at Natural Products Expo East, the All Things Organic trade show and the Sustainable Brands conference.
Mark Frey – Warehouse Manager
Mark is one of the main helpers in the wine cellar and chief warehouse manager. Energy conservation is his specialty and he always makes sure no lights are left on and that dust is washed off the solar panels for optimum efficiency.
Tamara Frey – Professional Chef
Tamara Frey, also known as Mimi, is a professional chef and organic caterer. She graduated 2nd in her class from the California Culinary Academy in San Francisco. She was a featured chef on their cooking show, "Cooking At the Academy." At the organic garden site of the famous health spa Rancho La Puerta, Tamara ran the garden kitchen and taught cooking classes in "spa cuisine." She's had numerous recipes published and is working on a cookbook. She specializes in using locally produced organic ingredients in her gourmet meals. Her mouthwatering organic recipes pair perfectly with our wines, and she’s the cook behind many of the community events and fund-raisers held at the winery.
Matthew Frey – Engineer
When Frey Vineyards first began Matthew took his years of experience working for a local winery to get us started on the right track. His widespread expertise and knowledge of machines, welding, electronics and carpentry has allowed Frey Vineyards to stay true to our green ideals of reusing and recycling. Thanks to his fix-it skills, we strive to buy used equipment, including wine tanks, tractors and bottling machinery, reducing costs to us and landfill space for the earth. Matthew is artistic as well and is responsible for the beautifully rustic touches on our buildings, doors, and pump houses.
Julia Frey-MacNeil – Mother, Writer
While no longer working for the family business, Julia established many new sales accounts in the Bay Area region while the winery struggled to get its feet off the ground. Today, she is a busy mother of three, and a writer.
Luke Frey – Biodynamics
Luke first brought biodynamics to Frey Vineyards, giving us the honor of becoming the nation's first certified biodynamic winery in 1996. Luke today mainly puts his efforts into our biodynamic program and maintains our biodynamic farm, as well as serving as a Board Member of the COROS Institute. With assistance from his son Daniel, Luke handles and cares for the livestock we graze in our vineyards. Using materials from our ranch, he makes all our biodynamic preps, giving us the distinction of being one of the few wineries in California to do so. With Luke's guidance our ranch has become a biodynamic showcase and we use it to host conferences and educational workshops.
Karla Frey-Gitlin – Doctor of Osteopathy
Karla was responsible for setting up sales accounts during the winery’s early years in the Santa Cruz area. She later became a doctor of osteopathy along with her husband Dr. Rob Gitlin. With their family, they live on the ranch and practice nearby in Redwood Valley, having started the valley’s first health clinic.
Paul Frey – President and Winemaker
Paul attended UC Santa Cruz, majoring in physics. He first learned his winemaking skills working as an assistant to his brother Jonathan in the early years of the winery. His interest and foundation in science serves him to this day and he keeps informed of all the latest innovations in winemaking and beyond.
Paul treats his job as head winemaker as an on-going education. He constantly experiments with new techniques and communicates regularly with the leading sulfite-free researchers in Europe. Paul is regarded as one of the leading experts in organic winemaking and with the help of his assistant and niece Eliza Frey, continues to improve the quality and balance of our award winning wines.
Adam Frey – Mechanic
Running a winery involves more than just cellar and vineyard work. Though he is a key player during harvest, rotating trucks and bins full of grapes, and protecting the grapes from frost in the spring, much of Adam's everyday work occurs outside of the winery facility. Adam ensures that all our ponds and waterways are running and filling properly. He maintains and repairs the large pumps we use to irrigate and for frost control, and manages our mountain springs. Adam is also an accomplished mechanic and handles all aspects of our ranch maintenance and development.
Ben Frey – Contractor
A builder by trade, Ben has assisted the winery over the years in many ways, from construction to harvest foreman. Artistic and highly skilled in woodwork, he built our pump-house tower as well as our beautiful redwood picnic table in front of the winery. Ben’s wife Kate Frey is a professional garden designer and he assists her in competitions. In recent years, she has won a silver-gilt and two gold medals at the Chelsea Flower Show – the world’s most prestigious garden-design competition held in London each year. Visit his webpage at RusticTowers.com.
Nathan Frey – IT, Webmaster
A self taught computer whiz and expert photographer, Nathan created, designed, and maintains our website. He is responsible for nearly all the beautiful photos on FreyWine.com. He is also our graphics designer, responsible for such tasks as creating our ads for publication, updating the many printed materials required for running a business, and our in-house product photographer. Though he handles some of the less creative tasks such as human resources, maintaining our office network, answering emails, his true talent lies in his photos as he documents much of the winery life in addition to life abroad on his many travels.
Sonja Frey –JD (Juris Doctor)
The youngest of the Frey children, Sonja uses her legal knowledge from law school and manages real property and does legal work. Also, she and her husband Tom Rogalsky manage the shipping and transportation department of the winery. A “Jill of all Trades,” she can drive a D8 bulldozer, tame a wild horse, and analyze torts!
Derek Dahlen – Vineyard Manager
Our Vineyard Manager Derek holds a masters degree in Biodynamics from New College, in California. Derek oversees all aspects of vineyard care from pruning to picking. With the help of six assistants Derek ensures all 130 acres of our vineyards receive the best organic care, including pruning, harvesting, sowing nitrogen rich cover crops and conducting moisture retention tillage and weed control. Previously experienced in running a successful CSA (Community Supported Agriculture), Derek has a passion for growing his own food and he increases the ranch's food diversity through planting fruit and nut trees in addition to grapes.