Akiko Freeman

Akiko Freeman

Freeman Vineyard & Winery (Winemaker)

Akiko Freeman, a native of Tokyo, arrived in the U.S. to earn a master’s degree in Italian Renaissance Art History at Stanford University. She completed the degree in the mid-1990s and then explored great winemaking regions through travels in Europe and South Africa. Imbued by a lifelong love of wine by her grandfather, she developed a passion for Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.

Upon returning to California in 1997, she and Ken Freeman, her husband, worked together to realize their dream of establishing a family-run winery dedicated to crafting the expressive and cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay they both admired. They launched Freeman Vineyard & Winery in 2001, choosing Sebastopol for its location. It was then that Akiko apprenticed with Ed Kurtzman to learn viticulture and winemaking, and she now oversees all aspects of the winery’s winemaking program, from the organic farming of the estate vineyards and the selection of grower partners to fermentations, racking, lot evaluations, and blending.

At Freeman, Akiko typically produces six different Pinot Noirs and two Chardonnays.