Beaux Frères is amongst Oregon’s leading wine producers. The estate was always destined for greatness given it was co-founded by none other than Robert Parker.
Wine salesman Michael Etzel identified a potential vineyard in Ribbon Vale, in the Willamette Valley, in 1986 – at the time a pig farm. He persuaded his brother-in-law (in French, “beau frère”) Robert Parker to join him on the venture and produce world-class Pinot Noir. They planted the first vines in 1988, with the first vintage produced in 1991 – when a third partner, Robert Roy, joined the project.
There are two vineyards – Beaux Frères (24 acres) and the Upper Terrace (nine acres), the fruit of which is used for separate cuvées. The vineyards are managed organically and biodynamically, and dry-farmed.
The winemaking is relatively traditional, with the aim of doing relatively little. The fruit is mainly de-stemmed and cooled to 12˚C before indigenous fermentation over five or six days. The wine is then pressed to barrel (French oak, 30-50% new) where it stays for a year prior to bottling without fining or filtering.
Since 2017, the winery has been owned by Henriot; Etzel and Parker remain part-owners and involved in the estate.