Goats and Grapes at Frey Vineyards
Who mows the grass, weeds the garden, and provides the milk, yogurt, and cheese at Frey Vineyards? Our magnanimous goat herd, of course! And they are as adorable as they are industrious.
Who are our hardest workers at Frey Vineyards? Like any family-owned winery, we’ve all put in long hours planting, pruning, and harvesting, but when it comes down to it, the goats win the hardest-worker award. Our goat herd grazes in the vineyards, providing essential nutrients for the soil while dining on the cover crops we plant between the rows of grapes. As they mow through the vineyard, they add nitrogen-laden manures to the soil.
Frey Vineyards, located in Mendocino County, CA, is the first certified organic and Biodynamic winery in the U.S., and we produce award-winning wines sold nationwide. In addition to crafting excellent wines without added sulfites, we care deeply about organic farming and soil fertility. Our home ranch includes Demeter-certified Biodynamic vineyards that take organic practices to another level. Biodynamic farming operates as a closed-loop cycle, meaning that fertility is generated from life on the farm rather than being imported. Biodynamic agriculture recognizes that the living soil is the heart of a farm. Vibrant, living soil is the key to growing healthy plants and in turn feeding healthy animals and people. The beauty of our goat herd is that they tend to the vineyard naturally, without the need to outsource compost or till the soil with a diesel-powered tractor.
We currently have eight goats on the farm right now, with more little ones on the way this spring. They’re a mix of different dairy breeds, and they have very particular personalities, from sweet to mischievous. Luckily for us, they’re quite fond of eating the invasive blackberries. Last summer while the grapes were ripening before harvest, the goats shifted gears and worked on the fire break team, helping to munch down pathways in the surrounding woods. After the devastating experience of the Redwood Complex Fire in 2017, we are hard at work thinning overgrown invasive Scotch broom and rehabilitating native species, and the goats are helping us access remote areas.
In addition to our animals contributing to the sustainability of the land, the goats also provide fresh milk, soft and hard cheeses, and the occasional fermented delight of yogurt and kefir, helping foster a very local organic foods movement, live-powered from the ground up! We feel blessed to have such an integration of plant and animal forces on our land today.
Want to taste the true terroir of our Biodynamic grapevines? Our red wine Field Blend is a great place to start. The Frey Biodynamic Field Blend is a rustic mix of rich berry flavors and hearty tannins that form a voluptuous pairing for savory, seasonal fare. To learn more about our Field Blend, and to see more of our farm animals in the vineyards, check out our Field Blend video on our YouTube channel.
Frey Vineyards a third-generation family-owned and operated winery located at the pristine headwaters of the Russian River in Redwood Valley, Mendocino County, California. At Frey Vineyards, we combine the best of modern and traditional winemaking methods to showcase distinctive varietal flavors. Through minimal manipulation in the cellar, we allow the wines to express the authentic character of our soils and climate. For over three decades we have been vanguards in crafting wine without added sulfites, a synthetic preservative added to most other wines (even wines made with organically grown grapes!) that can cause adverse allergic reactions in some people.
Our organic and Biodynamic farming methods encourage care for the soil, groundwater, and wildlife, promoting rich biodiversity in the vineyard. Ninety percent of our land is held as unspoiled natural habitat with a diverse mix of native plants and animals. As stewards of the land, we emphasize producing organic and Biodynamic wine of the highest quality while caring for planet and palate alike.