Freemark Abbey Winery

About Us

A Napa Valley Original

Freemark Abbey was established in 1886 as the 16th bonded winery in Napa Valley and is considered one of the first Cabernet producers in the region. Our property is home to an 1899 hand-built stone winery that serves as a fixture of Napa Valley history.  

While many wineries have come and gone in Napa Valley, Freemark Abbey has persevered through timeless craftmanship and a progressive vision. This dual embrace of history and modernity defines our philosophy at its core. It explains why Freemark Abbey has been ahead of its time on several fronts, including having one of the region’s first female vintners, first “sampling rooms” (now called tasting rooms), first wine libraries, and first single-vineyard wines. Freemark Abbey was the only winery to have earned the distinction of showing both a red and white wine at the 1976 Judgment of Paris – an event that catapulted Napa Valley onto the world wine scene. At the event’s 2017 reenactment in Tokyo, our 1969 Cabernet Sauvignon garnered first place, attesting to the quality and longevity of our wines.   

Timeless, trusted, and authentic, Freemark Abbey is esteemed by wine critics and enthusiasts alike for our classically structured Cabernet Sauvignon, Chardonnay, and Bordeaux varietal wines, sourced from several of Napa Valley’s most pedigreed sites, including the Bosché, Sycamore, and Colline vineyards. 

Freemark Abbey’s Second Female Winemaker Since 1886

In 2020, Kristy Melton became the eighth winemaker in Freemark Abbey’s more than 130-year history and its second female winemaker since Josephine Tychson in 1886. With nearly two decades of winemaking experience, Kristy has built a reputation for crafting wines of structure, finesse, and age-worthiness. 

Today, Kristy Melton continues the forward-thinking vision of Freemark Abbey while preserving its commitment to classically structured wines. Her approach to change is gradual and methodical with deference to history. “Nature does not stand still and neither does our winemaking,” she says. “There’s a sense of timelessness in what the Freemark Abbey name stands for, but we must constantly be learning and that’s where I find the greatest inspiration. There’s always room to push the boundaries, and experimentation is at the heart and soul of winemaking.” Kristy is credited with introducing malolactic fermentation to Freemark Abbey’s Chardonnay program and for continuing to push Freemark Abbey’s acclaim to new heights. 


Napa Valley Freemark Abbey Winemaker Kristy Melton