In January 2011, Eliza Frey, Derek Dahlen and Alex Frei represented Frey Vineyards at Millésime Bio, Europe’s premier organic wine conference, held each year in Montpellier, France. Frey was awarded a bronze medal for our 2009 Pinot Noir – quite an honor for a no-sulfites-added organic wine at a French wine competition!
The conference featured over 500 producers of wines made from organically grown grapes and an ever-increasing number of producers making wines with no added sulfites. It is great to know that the additive-free wine culture in Europe is alive and well. Along with our friends Phil and Judy LaRocca of LaRocca Vineyards in Forest Ranch, California, we represented organic, non-sulfited winemaking in the USA and stressed the need for purity and the exclusion of additives as the European Union struggles to develop their organic wine standards.
Attendees at the Millésime Bio 2011, Montpellier, France.
Frey Organic Pinot Noir vineyard with clover cover crop.
Happy Spring from all of us at Frey Vineyards! It has been another wet and cold spring here in Mendocino County, Northern California. Bud break on the grapes was about 2 weeks late and we have already received well over our annual rainfall. In the vineyards, pruning is almost finished and our inter-planted grain crop is coming along nicely. In the cellar, we are racking and filtering our 2010 wines and just releasing the first whites (Organic Sauvignon Blanc) with Pinot Noir right around the corner. Please find below some news from the Vineyards and as always, a safe and healthy season to all!
Katrina Frey was invited to address the Washington Spa Alliance’s 2011 Symposium, which took place in Washington DC on March 24. She joined a series of leaders in the fields of integrative medicine, cuisine and healthy lifestyles. Her talk covered organic wine and food issues, GMO’s and Biodynamic farming. Questions from the attendees focused on purity and the need to have additive-free products for truly holistic spas. The mission of the Washington Spa alliance is to act as a knowledge center and to connect spa professionals. Katrina encouraged them to integrate certified organic wine and food products into their dining rooms.
If you're in the Bay Area on Saturday, June 4th, don't miss the benefit for and preview of Kiss the Cook & the Farmer Too, a 13-part public television series about great food and sustainable agriculture, taking place at Hillside Gardens, Mill Valley, California. Frey Vineyards is a proud supporter of Kiss The Cook and The Farmer Too, and our wine will be served at the event. We hope you'll be there!
San Francisco-based Organic Conversation Radio show with Helge Hellberg and Mark Mulcahy recently interviewed Katrina Frey and others as part of their "Celebrating Women Leadership" Earth Day special.
Katrina was interviewed first, where she talks about the fight to keep added sulfites out of organic wine.
You can hear the complete show and all the interviews at Organic Conversation's website.
Katrina Frey with Kirstie Alley and Karen Black!
Katrina Frey with actor Ed Begley Jr.
Jon and Katrina Frey danced with the stars at Kirstie Alley’s Celebrity Block Party in Los Angeles on March 9th, 2011. The party was attended by Hollywood bigwigs who loved tasting Frey wines, the nation’s premium award-winning organic wine. Kirstie has developed Organic Liaison Rescue Me, the first USDA certified organic weight loss product. Thanks, Kirstie, for choosing organic products and promoting the green lifestyle!
Frey Vineyards recently attended this year's Millésime Bio at Montpellier, France, the largest organic wine gathering in the world. One of the Frey grandsons, Alex, was mentioned on the popular news website HuffingtonPost.com, along with his mugshot! Below is a screen shot from the HuffingtonPost.
It’s a rare harvest day that our winemaker Paul Frey is not found in the wine cellar from dawn to the wee hours. But on Oct 26-28th, Paul traveled to Madison, WI to defend the USDA organic wine standard. He joined fellow organic winemaker Phil La Rocca of La Rocca Vineyards, along with Steve Frenkel of Organic Vintages, who distributes organic wines in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. They each addressed the National Organic Standards Board to argue against a proposed amendment that would allow the addition of sulfites to organic wine for the first time. Paul Frey said, “The other attendees we spoke to expressed broad support in continuing the ban of sulfites in USDA organic wines. People who believe in the foundation of organics recognize that sulfites do not belong in organic foods and wines.”
Philip La Rocca said he went to Madison, “Because I thought it was important to not just fight against sulfur dioxide in organic wine, but also because we need to be careful that we don’t open the door to allowing other synthetics in organic production. Let’s keep organics pure.”
Steve Frenkel said, "I flew to Madison because I think it's very important to maintain truth in labeling. The consumer has a right to transparency in making choices about what they are drinking."
Signed petitions are being collected by the OCA, to be submitted to the AMS Administrator who oversees the USDA's National Organic Program. Please help safegard organic food standards.
After a decade of correspondence between Frey Vineyards and yeast producer Llalemand, we are happy to announce the use of our first certified organic yeast for the 2010 Frey vintage. Llalemand, our longtime yeast provider, has always been committed to GMO free production but has now raised the bar with their first certified organic product, made especially for Frey Organic Wines.
Organic yeast is manufactured by feeding the yeast cultures organic foods rich in sugar and nitrogen, such as organic molasses and organic sunflower oil. This high quality traditional organic yeast is now used in all of our 2010 organic wines. (Frey Biodynamic wines are still made with no added yeast, fermented with their own natural yeasts in accordance with Biodynamic winemaking standards.)
For the 2010 harvest we invested in new equipment to implement whole-cluster pressing for our white wines. Whole-cluster pressing is a gentler form of pressing white juice. Instead of being macerated in a crusher before entering the press, the grapes travel on a conveyor directly into the press. This technique limits the extraction of phenolics into white wines. It gives white wines smoother flavors, more fruit quality and better aging capacity. The result is a smoother, high quality white with more staying power, especially important for non-sulfited white wines. Look for the release of our delicious new 2010 whites next spring!
Frey Organic White Sauvignon Blanc grapes.
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