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A great road trip and local tastings among week's wine offerings

So many wineries, so little time: Madera Wine Trail Spring Event this weekend, 5/15-16.
So many wineries, so little time: Madera Wine Trail Spring Event this weekend, 5/15-16.

The storm clouds are clearing, once again. With a weather forecast for this weekend flirting with the 90 degree mark one more time, a road trip might be in the plans. What makes a road trip better? A wine tasting road trip.

Head south of Modesto to Madera County, where the Madera Wine Trail is having its thrice-annual "Wine Trail Weekend." This one, May 15-16 from 10 am to 5 pm, celebrates the arrival of spring--and the arrival of newly released wines.

Pack up a designated driver (the participating wineries are NOT within walking distance of one another, and the DD gets free stuff all day!) and plan to spend a lovely day at the following vintners:

  • Birdstone Winery, 9400 Road 36, Madera
  • Château Lasgoity, 11219 Road 26, Madera
  • Ficklin Vineyards, 30246 Avenue 7 1/2, Madera
  • Idle Hour Winery, 41139 Highway 41, Oakhurst
  • Mariposa Wine Collection, 20146 Road 21, Madera
  • Quady Winery, 13181 Road 24, Madera
  • San Joaquin Wine Company, 21801 Avenue 16, Madera
  • Westbrook Wine Farm, by reservation only (559) 868-3499, O'Neals

Food, live music, arts and crafts's a party in Madera! Pick up a $25 "wine pass glass" at any of the participating wineries, and hit the trail. Plan to attend this event, it's a lot of fun.

This week's other wine events, in Modesto:

Tresetti's World Caffe: Driving on Highway 46 through the hills just outside of Paso Robles late last week, there was a sign for Lone Madrone Winery. Time was of the essence, so no stop was made. Fortunately, Lone Madrone comes to Modesto, at Tresetti's World Caffe, on Tuesday May 11, from 5-7:30 pm.

Known for the reds that only Paso Robles can produce, like Barbera and Syrah, Lone Madrone also believes in sustainable farming. The winemaker procures grapes that have been dry farmed and head pruned whenever possible. Tresetti's wine steward Paul and a Lone Madrone representative will be on hand to pour for Modesto the results of that commitment--and the blessings of living in Paso Robles.

Sips Bistro: Wednesday and Thursday, May 12-13-- Bill offers Zinfandel from Sonoma. Included are Seghesio, Coppola 'Director's Cut,' Ridge Lytton Springs, and Phipps Family Cellars (Pfc). The cost is $12 per person and the event runs from 5-8 pm.

Friday Night Flights, May 14-- One white and four reds from the Bordeaux region of France will be poured. 5-8 pm, $15 per person.

Saturday, May 15-- Sips remains in Bordeaux, but for a longer period of time. 2-8 pm, $15 per person.


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