Beaux Freres is located in the northern Willamette Valley, one of Oregon’s prime Pinot Noir regions. The winery includes 23 acres of vineyards planted mostly to Pinot Noir though there is also some Grenache. Founded in 1991, the winery is one of Oregon’s most admired Pinot producers. It is also noteworthy because one of the owners is the influential wine critic Robert M. Parker Jr. Beaux Freres means “brothers-in-law” in French and the idea for the winery originally came from Parker’s brother-in-law Michael Etzel, who is the winemaker and managing partner. A third partner is Robert Roy. Though Parker’s Wine Advocate scrupulously does not review the wines or write about Beaux Freres, other reviewers give the wines excellent ratings.
Willamette Valley AVA was established in 1983, and it is the oldest appellation in Oregon. Oregon’s modern wine industry began in the Willamette Valley in the 1960s when artists, vagabond winemakers, and U.C. Davis oenology graduates looking for new territory started their own, small, off-the-grid wineries. The appellation is the state’s largest, and it extends 175 miles from Columbia River on the Washington/Oregon border to just south of Eugene, near central Oregon. The Willamette River runs through the area, helping to give the appellation a mild year-round climate. There are six smaller sub-appellations within this AVA, but altogether the Willamette Valley has the largest concentration of wineries in Oregon, as well as the majority of the state’s most famous producers. Pinot Noir is king here, followed by Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Riesling. To most admirers of Oregon Pinot Noir, Willamette Valley offers the most distinctive wine choices in the state.
This red wine is relatively light and can pair with a wide variety of foods. The grape prefers cooler climates and the wine is most often associated with Burgundy, Champagne and the U.S. west coast. Regional differences make it nearly as fickle as it is flexible.