Name Critic rates Freemark Abbey

Freemark Abbey

Our Rating
Anyone who is fortunate to visit the beautiful Napa Valley wine district in Northern California, is sure to see the Freemark Abbey winery. Its distinctive big stone building has a great traditional simplicity to it, while being elegant at the same time. As the home and tasting room of the winery, it also serves as the visual branding of this fine wine label. So, of course, we had to score it a 10 for presentation.

But where does the name come from? Winery names tend to fall into a number of distinct styles. In particular, wineries are usually named after their founder: Mondavi, Sebastiani, Grgich, Rutherford, Beringer, Rothschild, etc.; or after their location: Chateau Montelena, Rutherford Hill, Stone Creek, Geyser Peak, etc.; or after some particular symbol of the area: Field Stone, Valley of the Moon, Beaulieu (“beautiful site”), Spring Mountain, Dry Creek; and, of course, after religious or missionary names as many a monk kept a winery alive during prohibition, especially if they helped start it in the first place: Saint Supéry, Saint Francis, Saint Clement, Christian Brothers, etc.

This might lead you to think that Freemark Abbey had monks or at least priests running around it before, although if you pause to look carefully at the building before heading for a fine glass of wine, you might notice that it really is not a former church or abbey. In fact it has no connection to any religious past at all. The name is made up from a very common naming style: take part of the names of all the founders. In this case, three investors – Charles Freeman, Mark Foster and Albert Ahern – bought the former Lombardo winery. Albert’s nickname was “Abbey”, and simple as that they had a great name and have gone on to produce some of the areas finest wines.

For more details on this great winery, please visit them at These very simple English words are a powerful trademark and brand today.

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