As a family business with three generations working side-by-side, Trisaetum (tris-say-tum) is a blossoming winery located in the heart of Oregon’s Ribbon Ridge AVA. Founders Andrea and James Frey say it all began when they worked summer jobs in Portland during college and fell in love with the Pacific Northwest.
Less than 10 years later, James, a professional photographer and painter, still marvels at how he and Andrea committed themselves to two vineyard properties—22 Coast Range acres that needed to be cleared and planted in the southwestern corner of the Yamhill-Carlton AVA and a 28-acre vineyard in the heart of the Ribbon Ridge AVA—just when his parents chose to retire. The elder Freys moved in and provided endless help and expertise as the land was prepared to plant several Riesling and Pinot Noir varieties.
James, who named the winery Trisaetum after his children Tristen and Tatum, says, “It’s definitely a family business, with three generations side-by-side on the sorting line during harvest.”
The first Trisaetum vintage was released in 2007, and subsequent vintages have received much praise from the press. Wine Enthusiast recently awarded the 2010 Estates Reserve Riesling 95 points and designated it No. 21 on their Top 100 Cellar Selections of the Year.
“When it comes to winemaking, balance is critical. But once we have that, we want wines that are memorable, wines that are bold without being overpowering,” James explains. “We want wines with great complexity, but not ones that are confused or muddled. Again, it comes back to keeping things in balance while still being wonderfully expressive.”
Besides Trisaetum’s portfolio of more than a dozen Rieslings and Pinot Noirs, tasting room visitors are delighted to discover James’s riveting vineyard-inspired artwork, displayed in an adjacent 1,500-square-foot art gallery. With vineyard dirt and vine cuttings sometimes used as elements, James demonstrates that his art can be as wonderfully expressive as his wines.