Carmel Magazine

CM Winter 2016 Issue

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Wine and Bagpipes a Natural Fit for Local Connoisseur SHORTCUTS BUSINESS 64 C A R M E L M A G A Z I N E • W I N T E R 2 0 1 6 W inemaking is generally considered an art, but there's also a fair measure of science involved. As a chemist by training, Hahn Family Wines winemaker Greg Freeman has one foot in the world of sci- ence. But when he's not overseeing the production of the 380,000 cases of wine across five brands produced by Hahn, he's often pursuing anoth- er passion: music. Freeman was raised in Houston, Texas, and earned a BS in Microbiology and Chemistry from Stephen F. Austin State University. It would be a while before he put that degree to work, however. He spent time as a Colorado ski bum, a restaurant chef in Oregon and New Orleans, a Dead Head following the band on the road, and as a commercial fisher- man in Alaska. Later, he played guitar with a touring group of Zimbabwean musicians. Unusually, Freeman is also an accom- plished bagpiper. He keeps a set in his office and in quiet moments enjoys playing in one of Hahn's cavernous warehouses. Many wanderers wind up on the Monterey Peninsula. When Freeman did, he was hired as a lab tech at Hahn at the winery's sprawling River Road facility. "I immediately fell in love with the commute and the technology," he says. "I got here at a pivotal moment, when the company was getting serious about up- scaling production." He's philosophical about the work he loves. "Wineries are like restaurants in a way," he opines. There's no right or wrong, it's a matter of style, and they're all valid. It's just a matter of what people like." And people like Hahn wines. They like Greg Freeman, too. He's an affa- ble, engaging man who clearly loves and is perfectly suited to the twin dis- ciplines necessary to his work. "I'm analytical: I want to make sense of everything," he says. "I'm like that with music as well, but I also put my heart fully into both." —Michael Chatfield Greg Freeman is the winemaker for Hahn Winery in Soledad. In addition to creating popular and award-winning blends, Freeman enjoys playing the bagpipes. Photo: Kelli Uldall

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