(2013 Vintage) The history of Freemark Abbey began in 1886, when Josephine Marlin Tychson became the first woman to build and operate a winery in California. The historic site where Josephine's winery, Tychson Cellars, once stood is now known as Freemark Abbey. Josephine, a native of San Lorenzo, California and her husband, John Tychson, a Danish immigrant, moved to St. Helena in 1881. For $8,500, they purchased 147 acres north of St. Helena, which later became known as "Tychson Hill". In the years that followed, Freemark Abbey went through a period of several different owners until 1966, when a group of partners purchased the winery. In 1993, Winemaker Ted Edwards became a partner. Edwards assumed the role of managing partner in addition to maintaining the responsibilities he has held as winemaker since 1985.
Connoisseurs' Guide to California Wines9% Petit Verdot; 6% Merlot; 2% Cabernet Franc. A quick whiff of mint, a focused suggestion of black cherries, a hint of cocoa and a rounded, fruity impression of more Merlot than shows in the wine's cepage all lift this wine into the full commendation. Its supple palatefeel and polished tannins allow it to drink nicely now, and its firm underbelly will allow it to age for a few years into a smoother potion yet.