The Farm, the People, then the Wine.
The Beaux Frères story began in 1986 when Michael G. Etzel, then a wine salesman in Colorado Springs, embarked on a road trip to Oregon with his young family after reading an enticing review of an ‘83 Pinot Noir from the Willamette Valley. They took a whimsical detour to check out a foreclosed 88-acre pig farm about 20 minutes from their destination and — upon seeing the idyllic hillside, cute little bungalow, and lush pasture at the top of the dirt road — began to wonder: Could a quiet, wholesome farm life growing grapes for the blossoming local wine scene be possible? With an investment from Michael’s sister Pat and her husband, wine critic Robert Parker Jr., the dream began to take shape. (The name Beaux Frères refers to the French idiom for “brother in law.”)
Today, the original vineyard has grown to 24 acres of steep, contiguous southeast, south and southwest facing hillside on Willakenzie marine sediment from around 400 ft elevation. The oldest vines (own-rooted Pommard and Wädenswil clones) are now a seasoned 32 years of age, and newer blocks added along the way are even more densely planted Dijon clones on phylloxera-resistant rootstocks. The Upper Terrace Vineyard, planted in 2000 atop the next hillside on Ribbon Ridge, added another 10 acres of Pinot Noir to the winery estate. The farm team has now begun its own nursery project, grafting healthy cuttings from our most exceptional vines onto resilient rootstocks that we hope to have in our vineyards for generations to come. It will soon be a source of vines for a third property connecting the two prior estates that has recently been acquired (from the Fernandez family), and is yet to be named.