News and Opinion from Sisters, Oregon

Wine shop opens in Sisters on Main Avenue

Mark Clemens and Lisa Barber supposedly retired to Sisters about two years ago, but decided to turn their shared passion for wine into one of Sisters newest businesses - Friends & Vine Wine Shop and Bar at 152 E. Main Ave., Suite 2.

Mark's wine expertise comes from years as a wine buyer for Whole Foods, as well as a distributor, wine instructor, and a certified sommelier. He and Lisa have their own 800 bottle wine cellar at home.

"We will especially focus on small producers and hard-to-find wines," explained Mark.

Wines like the one bottle they have left from Cayuse Vineyards in Walla Walla. Cayuse wines are available as online futures to a currently full mailing list.

Ten-year-old Cabernet Sauvignon is Mark's favorite wine, but he also likes the Oregon Pinot Noirs, which are Lisa's favorites.

Friends & Vine has only been open for two weeks but is already attracting good local crowds with word-of-of-mouth publicity. Come fall and winter, Mark plans to teach a wine course and Lisa is looking forward to creating special events, like a Kentucky Derby Day and others.

Friends & Vine will be managed mainly by Mark, with the assistance of two part-time employees. The shop and bar are open noon to 7 p.m., Wednesday through Monday, and closed Tuesday. Sunday they are open noon to 5 p.m. In addition to fine wines, Oregon-sourced snacks will be available including chocolate, crackers, jellies, popcorn, and small charcuterie boards.

Mark and Lisa, like many Sisters residents, enjoy the outdoors for golf and paddleboarding. Being a native Southern Californian, Mark is trying to find people interested in beach volleyball. Lisa works remotely as a project manager for DirecTV. She attended the University of Oregon, Western Oregon University, and received her MBA in business marketing and healthcare from the University of Arizona. Mark has two grown children and three (with one on the way) grandchildren in California. His son is already talking about moving to Sisters.

Mark and Lisa enjoy world travel, especially to wine producing areas. At this point, the only countries producing great wines they haven't visited are Argentina and New Zealand.

They picked the name Friends & Vine because they hope to create a friendly comfortable spot for friends to gather and hang out while enjoying some wine. Mark and Lisa had their first date in a similar establishment in California.

If you order champagne, you might be able to get Mark to open the bottle by slicing the top off with a saber. Yes, really. When purchasing wines from Mark, he will ask for your price point as they carry vintages in all price ranges.


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