Mike Etzel is the foundation, the inspiration, and the essence of the Beaux Freres vineyard. And the wines are infused with a bit of his soul.
Mike’s relationship with the hill behind his house started with a bare field. His labor created the dynamic, vital vineyard there today. Even after 20 years of lovingly careful cultivation, it’s only when he’s out of town that he’s not up the road several times a day to check on the vines.
Watching him walk the land, it’s clear that he has an acute sensitivity to change. Nothing escapes him. Scanning the rolling hill of vines, he’s scrutinizing the soil, the leaves, and the native plants he’s encouraged to grow between the rows. A slightly out of alignment twig, barely visible, is quickly tweeked.
He has an almost magical affinity with his 20 acres, in both tangible and intangible ways. The interconnection between Mike and his vineyard vitalizes them both.
Mike’s most recent wine is a high point in the relationship. The 2008 Pinot noir benefits from a confluence of experience, vineyard health and perfect weather. It’s a rare achievement – an almost perfect expression of Pinot noir.