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Frias Family Winery

Napa Valley AVA

Mexican-American owned Winery in pursuit of the ultimate wine

In an era that has spawned a number of Mexican-American owned and operated wineries in California, one particular winery seems to have risen to the forefront in the lofty pursuit of the ultimate wine. Napa Valley's Spring Mountain-based Frias Family Vineyard has earned the acclaim of both wine writers and industry periodicals for its incredible, full-bodied Cabernet Sauvignons and we are delighted to share one with our Diamond Plus! Wine Club members.

Owner of Frias Family Vineyard is Manuel Frias, a native of Jalisco State in Mexico, who came to the United States with his family in 1951. They settled in San Francisco's storied Mission District and Manuel eventually went to college where he achieved three master's degrees in Education and Administration, Counseling, and Spanish Literature. After completing his studies, Manuel worked in close proximity to wine country, and was forever changed after his first experience in Napa Valley. He was in awe of the Valley's beauty and knew if he ever had a chance to buy property, it would have to be in Napa Valley.

Frias developed his career in administration at San Francisco City College and continued his love affair with wine country. At every opportunity, he took his wife and family on outings to Sonoma and Mendocino and poured over every wine-related book and magazine he could find. It would be ten years after his first vision before his dream of Napa Valley property would finally materialize.

In late 1977, Manuel Frias was finally able to secure 100 acres of hillside land that mostly fell into the prestigious Spring Mountain District appellation. He visited the property often and started taking classes on viticulture and enology at the Napa Valley College. In 1985, as a hobbyist, he planted a small 5 acre vineyard on the property and created, just for fun, the unofficial first vintage in 1988.

350 cases of the 1991 vintage was the first actual release for the Frias Family Vineyard, and over the years, it has grown to its present size of 3,000 cases. Manuel has also planted an additional 8 acres. While he plans to continue slightly expanding the vineyard, Frias hopes to preserve the beauty of the property, as the vines are surrounded by native trees and wildlife. The winery operation has also expanded to include Manuel's two sons, Manny Jr. and Fernando, making it a true family affair.

The word around the wine industry is that most of the Mexican-American owned wineries represent solidly made wines that offer excellent price/value relationships. With accolades piling up from a number of sources, Frias Family Vineyard is no exception to that premise. Manuel Frias is a marvelous example of a dedicated, hard-working person who can live his dream and enjoy the fruits of his success. He is very happy with his lot in life and his picturesque surroundings.

Map of the area

Dear Platinum Wine Club Members,

Picture of Dear <I>Platinum Wine Club</i> Members,

I was born and raised in San Francisco, but have my roots deeply planted in Napa Valley, as I have been working with my family since the planting of their first five acres back in 1985. After completing college, I jumped on full time assisting my father and brother, Manny Jr., running the day to day operations at Frias Family Vineyard. I help with all aspects of the family business, from harvesting to pouring at wine dinners, and various functions where the Frias wines are enjoyed.

I think what I enjoy most about my job is sitting down with our winemaker, Todd Heth, to blend our wines. Our 2015 blending of Lady of the Dead was particularly enjoyable. Right out of the gate, she was vibrant, fun, and “full of life.” This wine is particularly near and dear to our family’s hears as it pays homage to our Hispanic heritage of celebrating traditions. Our hope is that you will enjoy this wine with close family and friends!

Fernando Frias