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Madera Wine Trail – Northern Wineries

Date:

February 15th, 2013

Explorers:

Karen – Ken
Check out their tastes and Bios here

Wineries Visited:

Cru Winery (15,000 Cases)
Quady Winery
Ficklin Vineyards (9,000 Cases)

Winery-Sage.com Listing:

1) To view more information for the Wineries in Madera County (the local regional association),  click here and type “Madera” in the “quick search” field to see their listing on Winery-Sage.com.

2) View more information for the Madera Wine Trail on their Association listing on the Winery-Sage.com main site.

3) More information can be found for each Varietal that we’ve listed by clicking on the link that we’ve created the first time the Varietal is listed in each post.

General Location:

The Northern Wineries of the Madera Wine Trail are on the west side of highway 99 in between the Highway 152 junction and the southern edge of the town of Madera.

Details:

First stop on this leg of the Madera Wine Trail was Cru Winery, situated off the ever so cleverly named, Road 20 1/2 exit off 99. That’s right…road 20 1/2. You see, somewhere back in the dark ages, a genius in Madera county decided that naming all the roads and avenues after numbers worked so well in New York, that it should work in Madera County as well. Well, there are several problems with this, chief of which is that in New York, there isn’t room to wedge any more streets between the existing buildings so incrementing each street by 1 is perfectly feasible. There was no room to add any more roads. In Madera County, when it split off from Mariposa County however, there were only 6,000 people and tons of empty space. In other words, lots of room between the existing roads and towns to build new roads and towns. So why start out on a minor rant about the street names? Try putting Road 20 1/2 in a 10 year old Honda navigation system. If a car could talk, this one would have said, “Seriously…you’re joking right? 20 and 1/2?”. Thankfully Google maps on my phone isn’t so easily confused. Read More

Wine Events: February 2013 Campbell Wine Walk

Last Wednesday, the Campbell Wine Walk brought together 24 wineries who were scattered about the downtown area in various businesses, each pouring two or three different wines. The goal was to promote local business by pairing them with wineries so each gets exposed to a different clientele than they might ordinarily see. Most wineries send someone quite knowledgeable to answer questions, often the winemaker or tasting room manager, which is great for serious wine lovers who want to know a little more about what they are drinking.

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Wine Travels: Visiting California’s Corralitos Wine Trail

Windy Oaks Winery

Date:

December 1st, 2012

Explorers:

Karen – Ken
Check out their tastes and Bios here

Wineries Visited:

Windy Oaks Estate Vineyards and Winery – Production: 2,500 cases
Alfaro Family Vineyards – Production: 8,000 cases
Nicholson Vineyards – Was not able to visit due to some localized flooding on the estate
Pleasant Valley – Was not able to visit due to some localized flooding on the estate
Poetic Cellars – Not a Corralitos Winery but due to reasons explained below, we tacked on a visit to them.

Winery-Sage.com Listing:

View more information for Corralitos Wine Trail Wineries on their Association listing on the Winery-Sage.com main web site.

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Wine Travels: The Santa Clara Valley (Part 2)

This is part two of a series on the Wineries of Santa Clara County. Click here for part one.

Wet Santa Clara

A Cold Wet Day Wine Tasting in the Santa Clara Valley

Date:
Nov 30th, 2012

Explorers:
Karen – Ken – Ed (A friend of Karen and Ken’s from South Carolina)
Check out their tastes and Bios here

Wineries Visited
Kirigin Cellars – production: 3,600 cases
Fortino Winery – production: 15,000 cases
Sarah’s Vineyard – production: 5,000 cases
Solis Winery – production: 4,500 cases

Details
The weather sucked – there’s no other way to put it. If we wanted weather like this, we’d have moved to England. Rain, wind and fog … What’s not to like? It made for a wet and cold experience but we were still drinking wine so it wasn’t all bad. Read More

Wine Travels: The Yosemite Sierra Wine Road

Explorers:
Karen – Ken
Check out their tastes and Bios here

Wineries Visited
Fasi Estate – production: 800 cases
Westbrook Wine Farm – less than 1,000 cases
Idle Hour Winery – 1,200 cases

Winery-Sage.com Listing:
1) View more information for the Yosemite Sierra Wine Road on their Association listing on the Winery-Sage.com main web site.

2) To view more information for the Wineries of Madera County (the local regional association),  click here and type “Madera” in the “quick search” field to see their listing on Winery-Sage.com.

3) View more information for the larger Madera Wine Trail on their Association listing on the Winery-Sage.com main site.

4) More information can be found for each Varietal that we’ve listed by clicking on the link that we’ve created the first time the Varietal is listed in each post.

General Location
Believe it or not, vineyards and wineries in Madera County produce approximately 10% of the wine grapes grown in California. Most of those find their way into the hands of the mass producers but there are a number of smaller wineries that create artisan wines. Three of them are located on the Yosemite Sierra Wine Road in eastern Madera County. The Wine Trail is in the hills, on the way to Yosemite rather than the Valley where most other Madera County Wineries reside. Heading north from the highway 99 – highway 41 junction the first winery, Fasi Estates is about 20 minutes outside of Fresno on highway 41. Westbrook Wine Farm is another 15 minutes from Fasi and Idle Hour is 30 minutes from Westbrook. In other words, this isn’t a trip for those who want to hit a winery every 5 minutes. However, if you have the patience, the wines and the views are worth the trip. Read More

Wine Travels: The Santa Clara Valley (part 1)

Aver Family Vineyards (foreground) and Jason Steven's Vineyards (background)

Aver Family and Jason Steven’s Vineyards

Date: Nov 3rd, 2012
Explorers: Karen – Ken
Check out their tastes and Bios here

Wineries Visited
Lightheart Cellars – production: 1,000 cases
Clos LaChance Winery (we forgot to get the total production on this one – hey no one’s perfect)
Sycamore Creek Vineyards – production: 2,500 cases
Aver Family Vineyards – production: 1,200 cases
Jason Stephens Winery – production: 15,000 cases

Winery-Sage.com Listing:
1) View more information for Santa Clara County Wineries (the local regional association) on their Association listing on the Winery-Sage.com main web site, click here.

2) To view more information on specific Santa Clara County Wineries ,  click here and type “Santa Clara” in the “quick search” field to see their listing on Winery-Sage.com.

4) More information can be found for each Varietal that we’ve listed by clicking on the link that we’ve created the first time the Varietal is listed in each post.

General Location
Santa Clara Valley is located at the south end of the San Francisco Bay. Its main city is San Jose. The five wineries where we tasted are located within 15 minutes of each other, roughly 25 minutes southwest of downtown San Jose. For those who get motion sickness and can’t handle a wine tasting trip in the Santa Cruz Mountains, this is for you. Generally, the roads are so flat and straight that the only turn you’re likely to make is correcting for an alignment problem on your car.
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