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Friedeman Wines

About The Winery

After meeting in 8th grade, and having been friends for nearly a decade, in 2006 we finally found ourselves together in Chicago enjoying all that the city has to offer. It was easy to be a foodie in the Windy City; however, our interest in wine surprised us both. It wasn't long before we were seeking out a new wine bar every Friday night and spending all our vacation time in Northern California and Oregon. In 2009 we enrolled in an intensive sommelier training at the Le Cordon Bleu, where we spent nearly every weekend distracting ourselves from yet another brutal winter. 

In 2010 we made our first voyage to Sonoma County, staying in Healdsburg, less than a mile from the current winery. Over a gifted bottle of 1990 Dom Perignon we celebrated our engagement overlooking a beautiful Alexander Valley vineyard. The following summer we included a unity wine blending in our wedding ceremony. The "rose" resulting from a 2006 Hawkes Red Winery Cabernet and a 1997 Soter Blanc de Blanc was at any other time ill-conceived, but the memory of the moment was symbolic of our continuing love of everything wine.

Less than six months later we headed to dinner at a favorite Chicago restaurant only to find it closed due to frozen pipes. With no other taxis in sight, they took pity on us and invited us in for some drinks. Maybe it was the -15 degree windshield - or the double bourbon and topped off glass of Chardonnay - but right then and there we made the decision to move west. We landed in the East Bay and it did not take us long to realize that home-winemaking was a "thing" in these parts. Originally justifying the "hobby" as a way to save money on wine we consumed personally, quickly turned into multiple contracts for top quality Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Nearly 200 cases of wine emerged from our one car garage (aka, "winery"). We had no formal wine making experience; we simply applied what we had gleaned from years of drinking, reading and traveling. Maintaining these same blinders to mainstream, commercial winemaking remains a key differentiator even today.

2012 was our first proper commercial vintage. With only 250 cases produced, we sold nearly all our wine to just a few of our favorite spots in Chicago. 2013 garnered the first significant critical reviews and press, with every bottling achieving at least 90 points from Wine Spectator. In 2015 we planted our first estate vineyard. Today, we keep quantities small, stretching as hard as we can to increase the quality with each vintage, while focusing on building a lasting brand and family legacy founded on a truly unique approach and deep-seated passion. We are extremely fortunate to have a great relationship with our primary grower, the Ulises Valdez family, who believed in our vision from the start, providing us access to premium fruit and mentoring us on viticulture practices. We also have developed a wonderful relationship with Charles and Diana Karren who own and farm the impeccable Terra de Promissio in the Petaluma Gap. 

We thank you for your interest in our wines and look forward to sharing the spoils of our adventures! 

Learn more about our Vineyard sources ►►

Learn more about our Winemaking style ►►