Vino Veritas: Exclusive Dinner with Akiko Freeman

Experience exquisite wines poured at the White House!

To kick off the first Vino Veritas event of the year, the Harvard Club of Japan and Michael Khoo, President of WineInStyle, are pleased to present an intimate dinner with the acclaimed vintner Akiko Freeman of Freeman Winery. Akiko’s Chardonnay, “Ryo-fu”, was poured at the White House banquet when Abe Shinzo visited Barack Obama in April 2015. In addition, her Pinot Noir was ranked 22 in the Wine Spectator's Top 100 Wines in 2011 as well as listed amongst Food & Wine Magazine's Best 30 Pinots in the World. Please join us for an intimate evening with Akiko at the Ritz Carlton Hinokizaka private room.


Date: Tuesday, March 15th

Time: 7:15pm cocktail, 7:30 dinner starts

Location: Ritz Carlton Hinokizaka


Cuisine: Japanese (Sushi)

Admission: 22,000 (cash at door; exact change is appreciated)

Registration: Please email Seats are limited and are on a first come, first serve basis. Please note that no-shows not canceled by noon on March 10th will be billed after the event. 


The Vintner:

Counting back her family tree 21 generations, Akiko grew up in Tokyo. Her grandfather was one of Japan’s leading academics, and his love for wine, literature and art was contagious, imbuing his granddaughter with a lifelong taste for the enigmatic beauty of great Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. In the mid 1990s, after receiving her master’s degree in Italian Renaissance art history from Stanford, Akiko traveled widely throughout Europe and as far as South Africa to explore the great winemaking regions of the world. Returning to California in 1997, Akiko worked with Ken to realize their longstanding dream of establishing a small, family-run winery dedicated to crafting expressive cool-climate California Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. This dream was realized in 2001, when the couple founded Freeman Vineyard & Winery.


The Estate:

Since 2001, Freeman has been one of the great pioneers of cool-climate Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, charting a course to the western edges of California winegrowing, where the influence of the Pacific Ocean shapes the character of the wines. In doing so, they have helped to define a more balanced, sophisticated and thoughtful style of winemaking—a style that has been embraced by connoisseurs and collectors around the world.


Freeman Vineyard & Winery was founded by Ken and Akiko Freeman in 2001. But the seed for Freeman was planted more than 15 years earlier, when Akiko and Ken discovered they shared a passion for a more elegant and refined style of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Though this style embodied elements of what they loved about Burgundy, Ken and Akiko believed California was capable of producing wines every bit as complex and compelling.


This belief led them to explore more than 300 vineyards and vineyard sites, both in their search for grower partners, and in their quest to establish a world-class estate program of their own. Believing in a more eloquent, cool-climate style of winemaking, their searches led them to cooler hillside sites on the edges of modern California viticulture.


From the very first vintage, the Freeman style went against convention. While others pushed the limits of ripeness, Akiko and celebrated consulting winemaker Ed Kurtzman sought balance and refinement. This approach has garnered Freeman international praise and a place on some of the world’s most discriminating wine lists. It has also earned Freeman recognition as one of California's most visionary and acclaimed small wineries.


In April 2015, the White House featured the winery’s Ryo-fu Chardonnay at the State Dinner welcoming Japanese Prime Minister Shinzo Abe to the United States.