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Part Two: Continuing a Winemaking Legacy

On her winery office wall, Kristy Melton keeps a large black-and-white photograph. The blow-up is a reproduction of a nearly 130-year-old picture of Josephine Tychson, founder of the St. Helena property that would eventually become Freemark Abbey winery. That photo of Josephine isn’t just for decoration. “It reminds me of all of the hard work that went into this place getting to where it is today. It's no small notion, the history of the winery or taking over at this point. And that is by no means lost on me.”

The Story of Rutherford's Iconic Sycamore Vineyard 

Planted in the 1970s, Sycamore Vineyard in the Rutherford AVA is a slice of Napa Valley unlike any other and an intrinsic part of Freemark Abbey's history.


Part One: Introducing Kristy Melton

When Ted Edwards was offered the head winemaker job at Freemark Abbey 35 years ago, Napa Valley was on its ascent to becoming a world-class wine region. As Kristy Melton takes the helm of Freemark Abbey, now an established Napa Valley icon located in one of the most idyllic growing regions in the country, she faces new challenges like navigating harvest in the midst of a global pandemic. Though the times may be different, Ted and Kristy share a genuine passion for winemaking, a requisite for bearing the badge of Freemark Abbey Head Winemaker.

Greek Style Prawns 

These Greek Style Prawns make the perfect fresh and flavorful summer appetizer and put to excellent use a bountiful backyard tomato harvest. This flavorful dish would pair beautifully with a variety of white wines. We recommend serving al fresco with a chilled Chardonnay, Viognier, or Sauvignon Blanc.

Janet's Mom's Dill Pickle Dip

For this dill pickle dip recipe, we partnered with chefs Justin Wangler and Tracey Shepos Cenami, authors of the Season Cookbook, a celebration of wine country food. We think a picnic should have a dip, regardless of whether it's happening at the park, on the balcony, or in the backyard. While it goes great with chips, a creamy, tangy dip like this one serves as the “secret sauce” of the whole event: the dollop you spoon right onto your plate and eat with literally everything from crudité to crusty bread to chicken. 

Celebrating Ted Edwards

Winemaker Kristy Melton interviews Ted Edwards on his 40-year career and his new role as our Winemaker Emeritus. 

Wine Barrels Explained

Wine barrels have a large impact on the quality of wine as they add aromas, texture, flavor, and tannins. The different kinds of oak used and the amount of time wine spends in the barrel will have a great impact on this magical juice we so enjoy.

Filet Mignon with Shallot Thyme Sauce

This filet mignon recipe is the perfect companion to Bordeaux-style red blends like Freemark Abbey's famed Restoration Red.

A Reintroduction of the Partner's Blend

Following the landmark 2016 harvest, Winemaker Ted Edwards was inspired by France's Right Bank to re-introduce Freemark Abbey's Partners Blend.

Rosemary Roast Chicken Recipe

The Partner's Blend smooth entry, structured tannin, dark berry fruit envelope the savory, buttery, salty, umami-laden Rosemary Roast Chicken.

Balsamic Braised Short Ribs paired with Sycamore Cabernet Sauvignon

This Balsamic Short Ribs recipe has been years in the making, but it wasn't until we tried it with our 2015 Sycamore Cabernet that we knew it was time to share it. 

Tri-Tip Sandwiches with Cabernet Cabbage 

Renowned Chef and SEASON Cookbook author Justin Wangler shares his personal grill-smoked tri-tip recipe complete with Cabernet Cabbage and Blue Cheese.

Viognier - The Most Unique Wine Grape

Freemark Abbey's Viognier is surprisingly similar in style to Viognier from the Rhône Valley, particularly in its rich, full-bodied texture, fine acidity, and exotic fruit flavors - but the similarities don't stop there.

What is Malbec?

Learn the history of this new world sensation with old world roots. From France to Argentina and back again. Plus try our secret Malbec BBQ recipe.

Part Two: Establishing the Legacy Freemark Abbey

Wait, there's a time capsule? Part two of our historical series features memories of long-time Freemark Abbey veteran, Sue Cottrell, who reminisces of the times spent with the seven partners who brought Freemark Abbey back to life in the late 60s and 70s. 

Spring 2019 Newsletter

It is the dead of winter as I write this article, the vines are getting pruned and the mustard is thigh high. I'm often asked what do we do in the winter, or the so called "off season."

Part One: The Old Days of Freemark Abbey

In part one of our historical series on Freemark Abbey, we explore the beginnings of Freemark in the late 1800s when it was owned by Josephine Tychson, and later Antonio Forni, to its revival after the fall of Prohibition.

2019 Winter Newsletter

I’m not sure of the originations of this term, but we have come to know that it means an abundant crop and yes....2018 produced an abundant crop! That is fantastic news all around, it is great for the growers, great for the winery and most importantly, good news for the consumer. Not only was the crop sizable, it was extremely good quality as well. 

Wine Collector Series: Rob & Mindy Albright

In our second edition of our Wine Collector Series, we're getting to know Rob and Mindy Albright — Napa Valley Cabernet enthusiasts and Freemark Abbey Wine Club Members from the up-and-coming town of Overland Park, KS. 

Napa Cabernet and the Rutherford Dust

This well-respected AVA is a prized region for Napa enthusiasts, but what actually makes Rutherford Cabernet Sauvignon distinctive? 

Making a Statement with Stagecoach Merlot

A storied vineyard with a rich relationship with Merlot, discover how our Stagecoach Merlot is giving the variety a new lease on life.

Wine Collector Series: Mike Rose, CEO of Mojo Media Labs

Wine Collector and Mojo Media Labs CEO Mike Rose explores his drive to constantly improve and how specific Freemark Abbey vintages remind him of obstacles he's overcome.

An Interview with Master Sommelier Thomas Price

Master Sommelier Thomas Price shares his thoughts on Ted Edwards’ 30+ years of significant winemaking achievements at Freemark Abbey. 

A Peek Inside Freemark Abbey's Coveted Wine Library

How time flies. It seems like just yesterday we were adding the first bottles of the 1998 vintage to the wine library and today they are already primed for re-release.

Discovering the Best Napa Valley Vineyards

Over the last few decades, as California has developed a worldwide reputation for its wines, a handful of the best Napa Valley vineyards like Bosché and Sycamore can be credited with helping drive this phenomenon.

From Judgment of Paris to Napa Valley Wine Icon

“We were innovative back then, and we continue to be, but it’s always been about, ‘How can we make the best wine possible?’ It’s not chasing fads. Our involvement in the Judgment of Paris and the continuation of that style define who we are as a winery.” - Chris Jahns, Freemark Abbey Direct to Consumer Manager

Do You Know How to Use a Cork Puller? a.k.a. Ah-So, a.k.a. Waiter’s Fork

First, place the long “tine” between the inside of the neck and the cork. Don’t push too hard or too far, just about 3mm. Gently pull back on the long “tine” just enough to be able to position the short “tine” between the cork and the neck. In a slow side to side ‘rocking’ motion, gently push the Ah-So into the bottle, one tine at a time. Emphasis on gentle. Once the Ah-So is all the way in, hold the bottle firmly. Twist and pull all at once. The cork should easily come out.

Ted Edwards, Wine Librarian

Involved with Freemark Abbey since the 1980 harvest and named its head winemaker in 1985, Ted has enjoyed a stellar career at one of Napa Valley’s most storied properties. In addition to steering the winemaking ship all of this time, he gets to monitor his (and his predecessors’) wines’ development in the bottle. “Every so often we go through and pull open a bottle of everything,” he said. “We like to see how it’s holding up, what its qualities are and characteristics and such. So I have notes on all of these vintages.”

Library Wines... 3 Common Mistakes

If you are reading this you have become the proud owner of one of our beautiful Library Cabernet Sauvignons. To ensure a perfect fulfillment of promise please read this short guide for some ideas of what to do, what not to do and what to expect and not expect. As wine is very new to a large segment of the US population, library wine can be even more of a mystery. Hopefully the following passages will allow the mystery to vanish.