Addison Farms Vineyard

Addison Farms Vineyard, A Business Pouring Delight to Western North Carolina

Sandra Yerges


It was an unforeseen path that Jeff Frisbee, an Electrical Engineering graduate from North Carolina State University, would make his way back to farming. Growing up on a family farm, agriculture was a familiar part of his life. When Jeff went away to college, his interest in the technical field inspired his studies in an area away from farming. It was not long after Jeff’s graduation that he and his wife, Dianne, a native of the area, felt the pull back to their agricultural roots. This inspired the start of Addison Farms Vineyard, a mountainous vineyard established in 2009 on Jeff’s family land of eighty-five years.

When the vineyard began thirteen years ago, there was a lot of learning in which Jeff immersed himself. To gain more of an understanding about what goes into this business, Jeff explained, “I spent a lot of time reading and educating myself about the art of making wine.”


Despite having to place a large amount of attention on researching the industry, Jeff and Dianne were fortunate to find success through their marketing efforts and the support of another large business in the area.


After locating their primary demographic, Jeff explained Addison Farms Vineyard’s marketing messages have since been crafted to attract women to visit the farm. Their efforts have been enhanced by being part of the tourism industry in the Asheville area. Of course, one of the most well-known tourist attractions is the Biltmore Estates in Asheville. Jeff indicated it would be additive to have more local vineyards in the region. “Our marketing efforts would be enhanced if we had other even more wineries where people could spend more time visiting both large and small wineries in the region.”


There is a large established winery within the Biltmore Estates. Jeff mentioned the Biltmore Estates Winery has been helpful to them in many ways from attracting tourists to the area to initially allowing them to tap into their orders for buying barrels to age the wine.


Starting a winery is an act that requires an abundance of patience. Although the company began its operations in 2009, it was not until 2020 that Addison Farms Vineyard saw a positive cash flow. The grapes being harvested on this land take around three years to yield anything for the vineyard, so there was a long preparation stage to get the farm to the production level it is at today.


This vineyard spans across six acres of land utilized for the planting, growing, and harvesting of grapes. To properly age the wine to perfection, Addison Farms Vineyard has approximately 1,200-1,500 square feet to store the barrels. Each barrel is handcrafted by ten coopers from France who sell their products to the vineyard.


Now that there is a steady flow with the existing production, Jeff has been trying to diversify the types of grapes harvested on his farm. He currently sells wines of many varieties, including Cabernet Franc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Montepulciano, Petit Manseng, Petit Verdot, and Sangiovese.

With running a business of this caliber, there is more than just farming that goes into the vineyard’s operations. Dianne Frisbee works as the graphic designer for the farm, digitally creating graphics to maintain the farm’s image. As a graphic designer by trade, she is able to apply her specialized skills and creative mindset to the business’ daily operations.


The company also has an online presence, ranging from posts on Facebook and Instagram as well as YouTube videos demonstrating the pruning process on the farm. “Our social media presence is important to us. We love the engagement with our community, but as a small organization without a dedicated social media person, it is something we do as time allows, or in a spontaneous moment out in the vineyard, as opposed to a regularly scheduled activity. We are working to get better at that aspect of our storytelling,” Jeff expressed. The ongoing work with these platforms helps Jeff and his team reach new audiences, especially those living in the surrounding area.

VAPG Funding

Around the year 2020, Jeff was introduced to the Value Added Producer Grant and promptly applied. He admitted, “It took failure in applying for the grant in 2020 to understand more fully both what the program is and what it is not. Losing is never fun, but if you learn something, it can be a valuable tool.” Because he was not familiar with the ways in which the money could be used, his farm was funded $250,000 one year later in 2021.


Even though the business has only acquired the money for a few months, the impact the grant has had on their business is large.


One of the ways they used the money from the grant was to hire a tasting room manager to help curious customers sample and appreciate the wine they produce. This new space allowed them to differentiate themselves from other vineyards in the state. In addition to the standout quality this tasting room provided to the company, the guests now have a place to explore what this business has to offer: a family-rooted, high-quality wine experience.


Along with this tasting room, Addison Farms Vineyard prides themselves on the tours they provide to guests visiting the farm. During these tours, customers can look forward to a retelling of the farm’s origin story, an explanation about how the wine is made, and a view of the lush acres of land on site. Offerings like these would not be possible without the part-time employees at the farm who work in positions opened with the money from the Value Added Producer Grant.

Future Goals

With all of the growth this company has had since its origins in 2009, the owners hope to continue seeing this expansion in the region. Jeff and Dianne are passionate about the wine industry and finding ways to enrich the lives of the local farmers and their community.


Jeff recognizes that expanding the number of wineries in the area allows these businesses to work with one another in a collaborative manner. Instead of focusing on growing as individual businesses, there is strength in numbers. Just as Addison Farms Vineyard worked with Biltmore Estates a short decade ago, there is a new push toward working together as vineyard businesses to provide the best experience to consumers.


“Our goal for every interaction we have is that folks walk away knowing who we are, what we are doing here, and why we are doing it. We want our passion for this place and this product to be evident in everything we do, from the vineyard management to the guest experience,” Jeff stated.