Wineries of the Month
Badia di Morrona
The Badia di Morrona lies halfway between Pisa and Volterra, in the heart of lands once walked by the Etruscans, and short distance from the village of Morrona. The countryside surrounding this ancient monastery is that of a picture postcard made up of wide valleys, rolling hills planted with the Company’s own vines, olive trees, and dense woodland. Today the Estate covers 500 hectares with 90 hectares of dedicated vineyards, 30 dedicated to olive groves and the remaining to crops. All the land belonging to the Badia di Morrona has been dedicated to agriculture and vines for hundreds of years. Over the last few years, we have matched our growth in the quality of our wines with the installation of carefully chose innovative technology while maintaining traditional wine make techniques.
Querceto Di Castellina
“A great wine is made on the vine”, a phrase as used as it is truthful. It is for this reason that the planting of the vines started with the careful consideration of the characteristics of our land and the varietals which best express the Querc terroir. Located in Querceto, between the towns of Castellina and Radda in Chianti, mentioned as far back as the sixteenth century on the “Mappe dei Capitani di Parte Guelfa”, the estate extends for more than 125 acres, of which 27 acres are dedicated to the cultivation of the Sangiovese varietal for the production of Chianti Classico DOCG, with part of the acres being reserved for olive groves.
Today the property still preserves all the traces of its history and evolution over the centuries, which makes it genuine and suggestive, not to mention the architectural interest it attracts.
Winery of the Month
Four Sisters Ranch
We focus on hand-crafted, limited-release varietals and blends. From our award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Zinfandel, Petite Sirah, Merlot, and Malbec, to our Méthode Champenoise California Sparkling Wines and new limited-release blends and varietals, including Albariño, Cabernet Franc, Tempranillo, Petit Verdot, and Grenache!
The winery is owned and operated by Serena Friedman, M.D. and Michael Drucker, M.D. Four Sisters Ranch is a family affair, named after our four daughters (the “Four Sisters”): Sacheen, Elan, Toccara, and Sierra, who each contribute uniquely to our success.
For the past twenty-five years, we have been growing grapes and producing bulk and private-label wines for many renowned wineries in the Napa Valley, Sonoma, Paso Robles, Texas, and internationally. In 2008, with great pride and passion, we released Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah under our own label! Since then, we have released several vintages of our wines and have received multiple awards and accolades. In 2015, Four Sisters Ranch expanded to feature a beautiful tasting room, event space, and a new series of handcrafted, small-batch wines available exclusively in our tasting room.
We›re known for the spectacular views from our unique hilltop perch and we want you to be able to sit back, sip on some great wine, and enjoy! We offer a number of food items for sale, including fresh cheeses, local salami, nuts, crackers, and other snack items, including non-alcoholic beverages. Enjoy some outdoor fun on our bocce ball courts, horseshoe pit, or play lawn bowling and ring toss. Or, just watch the sunset from our Adirondack chairs and toast to a beautiful life! Stop by and stay a while…
ITALIAN Wines of the Month
Querceto Di Castellina, Sangiovese Rosato-Furtivo, 2017
This wine has floral notes of roses and iris with a subtle hint of herbs from the Mediterranean. Fresh and sapid in the mouth with a pleasing crispness. Pair with light pastas, white meats, seafood, and chicken.
Badia di Morrona Chianti, “I Sodi del Paretaio, 2016
85% Sangiovese, 15% Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Syrah
Color is Rudy red of medium intensity. Bouquet, fresh with distinct fruity and floral overtones. Taste, pleasing and versatile to the palate with a well-balanced acidity and soft, mature tannins. Pairs nicely with salami, well-aged cheese, or meat.
Querceto Di Castellina Livia IGT Toscana, 2016
Livia is a white wine of distinction with an elegant nose of mimosa, magnolia, elderberries, apple and pineapple notes. The wine is strong, full, and pleasant in the mouth and supported by a balanced acidity that holds the wine stead on its slow and aromatic path.
Querceto di Castellina, Podalirio, Toscanna 2013
The color of this wine is almandine red with dark reflexes. The bouquet offers a distinct dark berry fruit, forest floor, and leather overtones. The taste offers hints of blackberry, black cherry, persistent, and well balanced tannins. Pair this wine with salami, pasta with ragu, and roasted/grilled beef and wild game.
Badia di Morrrona, Taneto, Toscana Rosso, IGT, 2015
70% Syrah, 15% Sangiovese, 15% Merlot
The color of this wine is deep red. The Bouquet, aroma has delicate notes of cinnamon, cocoa, and black pepper. In the mouth, the taste is soft and pleasing with a velvety smoothness. The long finish is both warm and intense. Pair with good pasta with a red sauce and grilled meat. Would pair nicely with a grilled steak.
Querceto Di Castellina, Chianti Classico Gran Selezione Sei, 2013
90% Sangiovese, 10% Merlot
Harvested manually with only the best bunches selected. The Color is deep ruby red tending to garnet with age. Bouquet, spicy and persistent with distinct red fruit overtones. The taste is dry, persistent, balanced acidity and medium tannins. Pairs great with salami, pasta with a well-seasoned ragu, and roasted and grilled beef.
Badia di Morrona, Toscana Rosso, N’Antia
60% Cabernet Sauv, 15% Cabernet, 20% Merlot, 5% Petit Verdot
N’Antia is aged in French barriques for 15 months and 10 months in the bottle. This wine has a concentrated ruby red color. Bouquet, this wine has a full and complex bouquet of mature fruit complemented by balsamic and spicy overtones and hints of black currant, tobacco, and vanilla. The taste is full bodied. Smooth yet rich, this wine has a long and pleasing finish. Pairs nicely with roasted meat, like duck or pheasant, and aged cheeses.
ITALIAN Region of the Month
The name Toscana comes from the Latin Tuscia, which the Romans called the area to honor the Etruscans, who developed an advanced civilization there before the Romans subjugated them. The Etruscans were wine makers, but the Romans preferred stronger southern wines. Thus the Etruscan wine trade faded until monks revived viticulture in the region. Wine became a daily beverage in the medieval cities of Florence, Siena, Pisa, Lucca, and Arezzo. During the Renaissance, which began in Florence, the wines of Toscana were transported throughout Europe. The noble red grape variety of Toscana is Sangiovese. Although many clones of Sangiovese exist, the superior ones are among the world’s finest vines, such as Montalcino’s Brunello, Chianti’s Sangioveto, and Montepulciano’s Prugnolo Gentile. Among other fine Sangiovese based wines are Rosso di Montalcino, Vino Nobile, and Carmignano. Tuscan wines also include the “Super Tuscans,” which are100% Cabernet or Sangiovese-Cabernet blends. Vernaccia de San Gimignano is the most prestigious white wine in Toscana, and Vin Santo its highly prized dessert wine. In the government system of laws that regulate wine production, Toscana boasts 11 DOCG areas, 39 DOC areas, and 6 ITG.
CALIFORNIAN Wines of the Month
2016 Four Sisters Ranch Sauvignon Blanc
100% Sauvignon Blanc
Aromatic and lush, this wine is dry yet fruity, with aromas of key lime, tangerine and white peach. On the pallate it is crisp and fresh, with hints of juicy citrus. Pairs well with grilled shellfish and butter and lemon.
2011 Serena’s Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
This received a Silver Medal at the 2015 San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Bright dark nearly opaque garnet color. Spicy, fruity aromas and flavors of vanilla toffee, chocolate berry and peach bon bons offer a soft, crisp, dry, but fruity medium- full body with a medium finish. Serve with beef, pasta, or roasted vegetables.
NV Four Sisters Brut North Coast Sparkling Wine
50% Chardonnay, 43% Pinot Noir, 7% Pinot Meunier
Bright aromas of citrus, pear, and delicate flowers. Round and balanced with a fine mousse and delicate finish. Pair with Caviar, creamy cheeses, and light appetizers.
2011 Four Sisters Ranch Syrah
Limestone-rich soils paired with region’s warm days and cool nights bring out the best in this Syrah. A dry, but balanced red wine with aromas of blackberry, boysenberry, and black plum. The palate is fruitforward with hints of black pepper, rich cocoa, and subtle vegetal notes. Pair with Wild game, barbecued meats, and roasted vegetables.
2015 Four Sister Ranch Sacheen (Bordeaux) Red Blend
Five classic Bordeaux varietals, but Merlot is predominant, with Cab Franc, Malbec, Bab Sauvignon and some Petit Verdot.
Aroma, blackberry and blueberry notes are quick to the nose, with firm structure of Malbec and Cabernet Sauvignon following on the Palate with notes bright cherry and great acidity throughout. Pair with roasted or braised red meats, bean stews, roasted root vegetables and vegetarian dishes.
2015 Paso Robles Four Sisters Ranch Private Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon
100% Cabernet Sauvignon
Produced in Hungarian Oak, this small wine batch has a beautiful color with classic aromas of black cherry and blackberry leading into rich flavors of red and black fruit, plus a hint of toasty spice and oak on the finish. Pair with braised short ribs, steaks, hearty mushrooms, or lentil stews.
2015 Paso Robles Four Sisters Ranch Tempranillo
Head trained and spur pruned grown near our winery this early harvested grape resulted in deeply-colored, rustic wine, offering notes of plum pie, ripe blackberry and currant with hints of tobacco and vanilla. Overall a very enjoyable, mouth filling sipper. Pairs with tomato-based stews and sauces, pastas, and barbecued meats.
CALIFORNIAN Region of the Month
San Luis Obispo
Grapes were first introduced into the Paso Robles area, in 1797 by missionaries. They planted more than one thousand vines. Commercial wine growing, however, wasn’t started until the 1880s. Since 1990, when there were fewer than 20 wineries in Paso Robles, a large expansion of activity has seen the number rise to more than 200 wineries today.The Paso Robles AVA is acknowledged for its heritage grape, Zinfandel, but has gained recognition from a wider range of grape varietals as well. In the 1950s and 1960s, growers began to plant Bordeaux varieties, particularly Cabernet Sauvignon. In the 1980s, there were increased plantings of many Rhône varieties, including the first Syrah planted in California, as well as Viognier and Roussanne. The emerging popularity of the region’s wines led it to become the first site of the annual “Hospice du Rhône” conference on Rhône style wine. Today, Paso Robles Wine Country is receiving attention for its unique blends. These wines are unique to the area, and with varietal make-ups that do not follow traditional rules and expectations of winemaking, as characteristic in other regions of the wine world.
DINNER WITH DEBRA
By Debra Williams
White Wine Cooler with Lemon and Melon
Yummy on a hot summer day
1 Honeydew melon
2 Lemons, thinly sliced
Juice of 2 limes
3 bottles of Chablis, Sauterne or other white dinner wine
1 bottle of champagne, chilled
Cut honeydew melon in half, scoop out seeds and use a melon-baller to
scoop out melon balls; place in punch bowl. Add lemon slices and lime juice.
Add wine, cover and chill at least one hour. Add chilled champagne just before
Fresh Tomato Pizza
2/3 cup warm water
1 pkg active dry yeast
2 tsp sugar
½ tsp salt
3 Tbsp olive oil
2 cups flour
2 medium onions, finely chopped
1 clove garlic, minced or pressed
1 tsp. dried oregano leaves
¼ lb dry salami, thinly sliced
3 medium tomatoes, slice ¼”
2 cups shredded Monterey Jack cheese
Place water in large bowl and add yeast. Let stand 3-5 min. Stir in sugar, salt and 1 Tbsp olive oil. Add 1 1/3 cups flour. Mix to blend. Beat about 3 min. until dough pulls away from bowl.
Sir in ½ cup remaining flour to make a soft dough. Turn dough out on floured board. Kneed 8-10 min until smooth and springy. Place dough in greased bowl. Turn once. Cover and let rise in warm place about 30 min or until doubled.
Meanwhile, sauté onions until limp in remaining oil. Stir in garlic and oregano. Punch dough down. Roll/pat into a greased 13” pan. Spread with onion mixture. Top with salami, tomato slices, and sprinkle with cheese.
Bake at 450 degrees 15-20 min or until crust is well browned.