Interview: Four Sisters Ranch co-founder Serena Friedman

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Wine California

Photo courtesy of Four Sisters Ranch

For almost 20 years, Serena Friedman and Michael Drucker have grown grapes for wineries in California and Texas. In 2005, they were inspired to start producing their own wines and founded Four Sisters Ranch, naming the ranch for their four daughters. They joined the Paso Robles American Viticultural Association Designation (AVA) and started bottling Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah and Merlot three years later.

Joshua Lurie: What’s your first wine memory?

Serena Friedman: I tasted Shapiro’s Concord Grape Wine at a holiday dinner as a child–I thought what a great beverage…and the rest is history.

JL: When and why did you make your first wine?

SF: In 2005 we finally had extra grapes from our hillside area of our vineyard to personally select from which was not committed to be sold to a Napa Winery. We worked with our winemaker to fulfill our dream: to make an outstanding premium wine at an affordable price.

JL: What’s a wine trend that you’re excited about?

SF: I am excited about the consumption of wine by the Millennial Generation and also I am most excited about the new “Wine Bars” opening up all over.

JL: Why are you excited about the consumption of wine by the Millennial Generation and the new increase in wine bars?

SF: Wine had in decades past been the “thing our parents did” and now it is becoming the “in thing” for all adult ages, a wonderful way for socialization activities, such as wine bars, and a replacement for beer and hard alcohol. It is so nice to see changes in the wine industry to welcome these new generations to the experiences of moderate wine consumption…..not to mention the long term health benefits.

JL: How much value do you see in rating wines using a 100-point scale?

SF: I have a bit of a bias: some of the judges deciding on the ratings for this 100 point score do not always share the opinions of the General Public as they, the Public, search for “food friendly ” or “easy to drink” wines. Consequently some wonderful lovable wines per the “Public’s opinion” are given less than ideal scores under current 100 point scales.

JL: If you could only drink one more bottle of wine, what would it be and why?

SF: Four Sisters Ranch 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon, of course.

JL: Why would Four Sisters Ranch 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon be your last bottle of wine?

SF: This “River Cab” was grown on the hillside banks of the Estrella River bed where there are unique soils and where it is cooler and the growing season is prolonged. This extra time on the vine allows the grapes to mature to their exceptional flavor profile. It has such a nice long finish, so pleasant with subtle tannins, a light mouthful, and soft fruit flavors with hints of black currant, black cherry, fresh cocoa and vanilla. If I could only have one last bottle of wine I would delight gloriously to slowly drink and enjoy each and every sip of this Cabernet…

JL: What food would you pair with the bottle of Four Sisters Ranch 2005 Cabernet Sauvignon and why?

SF: I would choose lighter grilled meats, or honey walnut prawns or a braised lamb shank, or baked pork chops, or Italian dishes. This wine complements but does not overwhelm or interfere with enjoyment of these foods. It is a food friendly wine that begs a second glass!


Joshua Lurie

Joshua Lurie founded FoodGPS in 2005. Read about him here.

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