Co-Founder Ken Freeman

Co-Founder Ken  Freeman

Co-Founder Ken Freeman

Freeman Vineyard & Winery | Sebastopol, California |

Ken fell under the thrall of wine's mystery while growing up in Scarsdale, New York, amidst a wine loving family. He recalls venturing to Zachy's with his mom and being fascinated by the wooden crates bearing the imprimaturs of Chateau Margaux and Domaine Romanee-Conti stacked high on the sidewalk in front of the store. Little did he know that one day his own Freeman wines would claim a coveted space on Zachy's shelves.

In 1985, Ken met Akiko. After discovering a shared passion for a more sophisticated and eloquent style of pinot noir and Chardonnay, they began preparing to found their own winery. After earning his M.B.A. from Kellogg, Ken worked for years establishing the Discovery Channel in Asia, which took him and Akiko to Singapore and Hong Kong. Whenever possible, the Freeman's traveled to the world's great wine growing regions, including trips to many of the most esteemed wineries in France. In 1997, Ken took a position at CNET in California, and the Freeman's winemaking dream began to crystallize into a plan to make cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. They began searching for grower partners and vineyard properties in the coolest parts of the Russian River Valley and on the extreme Sonoma Coast. In 2001, Ken and Akiko acquired a small winery in the Russian River Valley town of Sebastopol where they established Freeman Vineyard & Winery. In 2005 and in 2007, they acquired two other properties to bring their total acreage to 25 now.

"We have a complementary skill set," Ken says. "I have vision and am the sales person. She's the execution person and very detail oriented."

In addition to being a skilled businessman, Ken has become a jack-of-all-trades, working closely with Freeman's portfolio of respected vineyard partners, rolling up his sleeves to help with the winemaking, and adding his palate to the blending team.

He continues to work part-time in banking. He is one of six founding members of the West Sonoma Coast Vintners. He is also proud to be on the board of the Sonoma Land Trust, which has helped preserve more than 50,000 acres in Sonoma County.


You can meet Ken at the:

Lamb Cook-Off on Thursday, April 2, 3-6 pm on the streets of Vail
Mountain Top Tasting on Friday, April 3rd, 12 pm-2:30 pm at the top of the Eagle Bahn Gondola
Grand Tasting on Saturday, April 4th, 5-8 pm in the Marriott

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