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Meet Josh Frisby of Frisby Cellars Winery in Orange County

Today we’d like to introduce you to Josh Frisby.

Josh, let’s start with your story. We’d love to hear how you got started and how the journey has been so far.
I am a native Orange County resident and Firefighter / Paramedic in Orange County and discovered my passion for wine and the winemaking process following numerous wine tasting trips and tours in the central coast. With my physical and mechanical background as a firefighter, I was specifically drawn to the production aspect of winemaking and all that is involved in producing a bottle of wine from vine to bottle. I began studying winemaking, the process of starting a winery, regulations along with taking winemaking college courses. I hired a winemaking consulting team, Jerry and Marsha De Angelis in San Luis Obispo who have over 25 years of winemaking experience and a Ph.D. in Chemistry. I work alongside my consulting team to seek out the highest quality fruit from different Paso Robles vineyards and produce top quality wines that have received numerous awards since 2009.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Our winemaking journey has definitely had its challenges along the way. Once you decide to start a winery and produce using grapes you purchase there is a near two years wait before your first product will be released. Grapes are typically harvested in September and October in Paso Robles then a minimum of 18 months of aging occurs in barrels and at least 4-6 months in bottle prior to release. Patience is required and a lot of money is spent before you see any type of return. One of the biggest challenges in winemaking is the unpredictability of the weather each year. Heat waves, drought, frost and heavy rains will all affect the grapes at time of harvest. It’s truly an art form once the grapes are picked to produce the best wine possible each year with the fruit we purchase. Another challenge has been growing from a startup 150 case winery to over 1000 cases produced annually. More grape contracts, logistics for picking and hauling grapes, barrels, equipment and supplies are all needed to grow your production capability. Opening our Orange County tasting room has also been a challenge but also the turning point for growth in our winery. The cost of having employees, schedules and building customer awareness to the location of our Urban Winery and Tasting room in Orange County were all challenges.

We’d love to hear more about your business.
Frisby Cellars Winery was established in 2009 and produces ultra-premium wines from vine to bottle in Paso Robles and Orange County.

Our wines are truly handcrafted and very limited in production, often less than 100 cases produced of each wine with total case production around 1000 cases yearly. Frisby Cellars’ wines are produced to express the terroir, climate and varietal characteristics of that particular vintage and vineyard in Paso Robles and are often not replicated each year. The Winemaking activities which include crushing and fermentation of grapes into wine occur at a crush facility in Paso Robles. Once the winemaking process is complete Frisby Cellars transfers the finished wine to its Orange County wine cellar & tasting room where barrel aging, blending, and bottling is completed. Frisby Cellars’ award-winning craft wines are available for tasting and purchase at its Lake Forest tasting room and select OC restaurants. Frisby Cellars has won over 40 medals in California Commercial wine competitions over the past 8 years including a Best of Class award for our 2011 Cabernet Sauvignon in the 2015 Central Coast Wine Competition. This wine was rated the top wine in the Cabernet Sauvignon class and competed against other highly distinguished Paso Robles Cabernet’s from $15 up to $200. Our wines retail for $28-$36 at our website and tasting room, which is open to the public for walk in wine tasting Thursday’s & Friday’s from 5-8PM, Saturday’s from 1-6PM and Sunday’s 1-5PM. Our Lake Forest Urban Winery and Tasting room serves our Orange County Wine Club members who receive 25% off our retail pricing. We also hold 6-8 wine club member events a year at our tasting room and allow the tasting room to be rented out for private parties, corporate gatherings, and charity events.

What were you like growing up?
I grew up in a rural area at the time of Orange County called Trabuco Canyon. A close community with a General Store, volunteer fire station, two restaurants and a small elementary school. I grew up racing BMX and motocross until the age of 16. Off-road motorcycles were my main interest along with surfing and snowboarding. I took interest in the fire service while in high school and learned at an early age as a fire explorer and volunteer I wanted to be a professional firefighter.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
Frisby Cellars

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