Trisaetum Winery & Vineyards

Owner(s) Andrea Frey, James Frey
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Trisaetum Winery & Vineyards

James Frey was growing Cabernet Sauvignon and Syrah in his backyard in 2001 in Orange County, California, and making wine at home became an obsession. He began to look for vineyard land in Oregon. Both he and his wife had spent time there and were enamored with the state. In addition, he found himself drinking more and more Pinot Noir and Riesling, both varieties well suited to Oregon's winegrowing regions.

In 2003, the couple acquired an old cattle ranch in the foothills of the Coast Range, outside McMinnville. Two years later they planted 22 acres of Pinot Noir and Riesling. They subsequently added another 17 acres near Newberg on Ribbon Ridge and again planted Pinot Noir (clones 115, 667, 777, Pommard, Wädenswil, and Coury) and Riesling. The soils are a unique mixture of Willakenzie with quartz-riddled sandstone and Pittsburgh bluff series, specific to Ribbon Ridge. They added an 8-acre vineyard in the Dundee Hills in 2011.

The Freys built a winery, dramatically lit underground wine caves, and a 1,500-square-foot art gallery to display James' artwork at Ribbon Ridge adjacent neighbors Beaux Frères and Brick House.

They named their winery Trisaetum ("Tris-say-tum"), a Latinized version of the names of the Frey's son Tristan and daughter Tatum. For two years they telecommuted from the Willamette Valley, with James finally quitting his advertising job for good in 2008. James had a distinguished career in photography, sculpting and abstract expressionist painting.

Frey vinifies six Rieslings, ten Pinot Noirs and three Chardonnays each vintage; all from the three estate vineyards. The winery is state-of-the-art, with a cold room to accept incoming grapes, an extensive sorting process that requires a team of fifteen people and utilizes a machine that is able to remove all debris including insects from the grapes. Several coopers are used and generally 25-35% French oak is new.

Beginning in 2013, Jacques Lardiére of Louis Jadot began vinifying Louis Jadot's Resonance wines at Trisaetum.

The winery's tasting room and art gallery is located at 18401 Ribbon Ridge Rd. in Newberg and are open Thursday to Sunday from 11:00 to 4:00. 503-538-9898. Pinot Noir and Riesling are offered. The wines are expensive but of ultra premium quality.

Reviewed Wines

2010 Trisaetum Coast Range Estate Pinot Noir

13.2% alc., 300 cases, $55. · Opens reluctantly in the glass revealing shy fruit and a green, oaky edge. Lean flavors of strawberries and cherries backed by very bright acidity. The fruit-driven finish drops off quickly, leaving a healthy cut of acidity in its wake. Lacks ripeness and concentration. Decent. Reviewed August 23, 2012 ARTICLE »

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