Everything you need to know about Lynmar Estate Winery.
Lynmar Estate Winery in Sebastopol focuses on growing and producing the best possible Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines from the Russian River Valley, supporting and encouraging the land, and creating a welcoming real sense of place for guests to explore.
Their family story here began in 1980, when Lynn Fritz purchased the original Quail Hill Ranch as a rural retreat from his busy life as CEO of Fritz Companies, a global logistics organization. As the years passed, he realized that it was a truly remarkable piece of land in the Russian River Valley.
They have since added six contiguous pieces of land around Quail Hill, and three additional distinct vineyard sites spanning the entire Russian River Valley, from north to south.
In 2008, Lynn and his wife Anisya Fritz made Lynmar Estate their permanent home, and took over the day-to-day operational management. We interview Lynmar Estate Co-Proprietor Anisya Fritz to learn more.
Share one of your popular tasting experiences.
Anisya Fritz, Lynmar Estate Co-Proprietor: We offer Wine Flight tastings Thursday through Sunday and allows guests to explore our portfolio of estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, and also explore our scenic gardens.
We are also extremely proud of our seasonal Collectors lunch experience. Available at our scenic Quail Hill Vineyard, the lunch takes place at a private table where guests can enjoy an elevated three-course meal prepared by Estate Chef David Frakes, individually plated, and paired to our wines.
Chef Frakes works with our gardening team to create menus using seasonal ingredients grown at our estate gardens. The “Collectors Lunch Pairing” experience is offered at $200 per person, and we welcome groups of up to six guests.
What type of wine do you specialize in?
Anisya Fritz: Lynmar Estate Winery in Sebastopol focus is on estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Working with four distinct estate vineyards, our grapes are grown in nearly every microclimate in the Russian River Valley. Meticulous block-by-block farming and small-lot fermenting allows us to create a very diverse portfolio of two-dozen distinct wines that reflect our estate and the people who care for our vineyards.
What makes your wine unique?
Anisya Fritz: Our focus is on estate-grown Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Working with four distinct estate vineyards, our grapes are grown in nearly every microclimate in the Russian River Valley.
Meticulous block-by-block farming and small-lot fermenting allows us to create a very diverse portfolio of two-dozen distinct wines that reflect our estate and the people who care for our vineyards.
Because we own our vineyards, incredible attention to detail is given to each and every stage of production, from farming to winemaking. Our team has thousands of hours of Pin hands-on vineyard experience, enabling us to farm down to the row and harvest at precisely the right moment. Once each block is harvested, it is individually fermented and aged separately.
This allows us to create wines that are a true reflection of our land.
Related: Ram’s Gate Winery in Sonoma
What’s one thing you wish more people knew about your winery?
Anisya Fritz: I wish more people knew about our commitment to sustainability.
We are constantly looking for ways to reduce our impact on the environment, whether it’s using solar power, implementing water-saving practices, supporting the nearby Laguna de Santa Rosa, or planting pollinator gardens. We hope to set an example for other wineries to follow.
How did you get started in the wine industry?
Anisya Fritz: I didn’t have much experience in the wine industry when Lynn and I made Quail Hill Vineyard our permanent home in 2008, and I took on the role of overseeing the consumer experience.
I was born and raised in India and came to the United States at the age of 17 to attend Loyola University Maryland in Baltimore. I spent the first decades of my career as an academic, strategic consultant, CEO and working in international humanitarian relief. However, I was a quick learner and enjoyed developing an understanding of the business.
As we discovered more about our customers, I was able to use my business background to create a strategic plan for Lynmar Estate that aligned with our vision and values. My biggest inspirations are the land and our customers.
We take a consumer-first approach which permeates everything we do, from vineyard to guest experience. We want each person who visits Lynmar Estate to feel like part of our family.
What’s the biggest lesson you’ve learned in since taking over management of the winery?
Anisya Fritz: Our biggest success comes from the community we’ve built and our customers that have been with us for decades.
This begins by hiring people who are passionate about what we do here at Lynmar. This includes Winemaker Pete Soergel, Estate Chef David Frakes, our full-time vineyard and gardening team, and tasting room staff. Many of our employees have been with us for over 10 years. We believe that a motivated and inspired team will take care of our guests and business.
The second part of our success comes from understanding what motivates our customers and giving them an exceptional experience. We welcome each guest as part of our family.
Nearly everyone who visits has been personally referred by a friend
Do you remember the first time you fell in love with wine?
Anisya Fritz: I quickly developed a passion for wine after moving to the Lynmar Estate. It was exciting to discover the level of detail and work that goes into farming and making wines at this level. We now farm 53 individual vineyard blocks and 19 different clones which translates into 90 separate lots of wine in the cellar.
I also enjoyed learning about different varieties, vineyards and clones, and understanding how they pair with food.
Describe your winemaking philosophy or approach.
Anisya Fritz: Our winemaking philosophy is based on three pillars: terroir, tradition, and innovation.
Terroir is the unique combination of climate, soils, and exposures that make our estate vineyards distinctive. We farm using sustainable practices and minimize intervention in the cellar to allow the grapes to express themselves.
Tradition refers to the winemaking techniques and methods passed down from generation to generation. We use time-honored methods combined with the latest technology to create wines of the highest quality.
Innovation is about pushing boundaries and taking risks. We are constantly experimenting in the vineyard and cellar, whether it’s trying a new technique or using innovative technology. This allows us to create unique wines that express our terroir in new and exciting ways.
What’s a top food and wine pairing you love right now?
Anisya Fritz: My favorite wine is the Susanna’s Vineyard Chardonnay. This site was a gift to me from my husband Lynn and is one of our coolest sites. Aside from it being an exceptional wine, it holds a special place in my heart as the site is named about my beloved grandmother.
The wine has great acidity and minerality, and pairs beautifully with seafood.
Do you have a favorite story about working at your winery?
Anisya Fritz: One of my favorite things about working at the winery is getting to meet so many interesting people from all over the world. I’ve had the opportunity to meet some of the most passionate and knowledgeable wine lovers, and it’s always a pleasure to share our wines with them. I’m also proud to be able to give back to the community.
I teach Wine Business courses at Sonoma State University and am incredibly passionate about mentoring women within the industry.
What do you love about winemaking?
Anisya Fritz: I love the challenge of working with nature to create something beautiful and unique. Every vintage is different, and it’s always a new adventure. I love sharing it with our customers and year in and year out.
Do you have any winery traditions with your team?
Anisya Fritz: We have a few traditions that we like to do as a team. One is regularly holding blind tastings together, to see how our wines are developing. We also like to get together for team-building exercises, like walking through the vineyard.
And of course, we always make sure to celebrate our successes with a glass of wine.