Kick-off Harvest Dinner 2018

August 25th

Join us for a beautiful evening in the vineyard as we celebrate the start of Harvest.  A relaxed evening with a scrumptious BBQ dinner, the sounds of the Doubleshots, and beautiful views of the vineyard.  Listen to the dulcet tones of Paul as he waxes and wanes over the challenges and rewards of the 2018 growing season, as well as the what we are looking forward to for the harvest.

Tickets are $65/person $60/club members.  Tickets are available online or by calling the winery.


Mexican Corn Bruchetta
Red Pepper Hummus with Tri-Colored Chips
Olive Tapenade

BBQ Ribs with wine-infused BBQ Sauce
Green Bean, Corn and Tomato Salad
Mustard Tarragon Potato Salad
Garlic Bread

Frank Vitt’s Walnut Brownies

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A Bordeaux Opportunity

Chateau Kirwan 1996 labelEven if you don’t happen to be going on the cruise to Bordeaux with us this November, I hope you don’t mind hearing a bit more about it all. The fact is, I get quite a few questions about the tour while in the tasting room. Ironically, one of the questions I get directed to me as the winemaker is, “What is your responsibility on cruise?”

OK, so here’s the deal. I wouldn’t really call it a “responsibility,” but instead an “opportunity.” When we signed up to host the cruise to Bordeaux, we chose this region (rather than The Danube or Paris or…) partly because we make so many different Bordeaux varieties. But the other reason was that this is a region we wanted to learn a lot more about.

So here comes the “opportunity” as I see it. With the hosting of the cruise, we have been asked to conduct three seminars and host a wine dinner. This is one of those unique opportunities where we get to learn, teach, experience and have fun all at the time. Continue reading

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“Seriously, why are you farming organically?”

I thought this would be a question we’d be getting all the time. Yes, it’s more expensive. Yes, the vineyards have more weeds. Yes, we have to worry about weather patterns a bit more. No, I can’t tell anyone that you can taste the difference.  So naturally, from a purely American business point of view of maximizing profits, I thought we’d be constantly answering why we chose to jump off the cliff and choose a natural way of farming.

Ironically, all we really hear is, “Good for you!”

DSC_8751As I’ve mentioned before, spring is the time of year when I, myself, question the whole organic notion in our vineyards. Our farming life has enough stresses and strains to worry about that adding in just one more thing, farming naturally, really can put me over the edge. The biggest concern this time of the year is weeds!

Recently as I drove down the road, heading into some of the most beautiful wine regions of California, I truly envied the pristine aspects of their vineyards. The vines were immaculately pruned, mustard flowering in the rows, and not a single weed under the vines. It’s a picture-perfect scene. Continue reading

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A Bordeaux Cruise Update

Madroña Vineyards 2018 River Cruise
Cruise Only: November 15-22, 2018
Paris Pre-Cruise Tour + Loire Valley Post Cruise Tour: November 13-25, 2018

Maggie & Paul

Have you made your plans to join us for this outstanding River Cruise yet?  Our Madroña is now 32 people strong!  NOTE: November is off-season, usually with mild weather in southwest France. There is now a $1,000 per cabin ($500 per person) discount for our Madroña group.  You must book through our tour operator Expanding Horizons to be part of the Madroña Vineyards Group.

Are there any singles out there wanting to go?  We have had a lovely club member inquire if there were others who might want to share a room?  Let us know and we will introduce you!

Here are some highlights that the tour company has provided us.  I wish I could write about these places intimately, but there are places we have yet to explore in our personal travels.  But we are certainly excited by what it planned!


Day 3 of our Madrona Bordeaux Rivers Cruise visits Pauillac, in the heart of the Medoc region, home to 60 Grand Cru vineyards. Continue reading

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Celebrating 45 Years Passport 2018

Create Passport at Home!  Here are our receipes

Riesling – Coq au Vin (Riesling) Recipe
Cab Franc – Deconstructed Reconstructed Pasta recipe
New-World Port – Walnut Cake

El Tinto Lot 37—Reality is Sustainability

45 Years 1If you’ve been by the winery lately and talked to me about my favorite El Tinto blends, you’d know that I feel the dark chocolate spice and brooding berry fruit of the Lot 37 makes it one (if not the one) of my favorite El Tintos from the last 30 years. But to be honest, it isn’t the wonderful characters that sets the wine to the top. It is instead the overall balance of the Lot 37 that truly strikes me.

Why is this all important? Really, it’s not, especially for the point of this narrative. But there is one connection with how much I enjoy this wine. The El Tinto is pretty much the only wine we get credit for making. All of the other varieties (like Zinfandel, Riesling, Malbec, etc.) are meant to be expressions of the vineyard and vintage, and keeping our winemaking hands out of the mix makes are purer expression. Continue reading

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45 Years and a Bit of Passport

It really is hard to believe that the whole Madroña Vineyards story started just a mere 45 years or so ago. For me, as a kid growing up in it and then tackling wine as a career, it seems like an eternity. Better said, perhaps, is to point out I can’t really remember a time when the vineyards and the winery weren’t part of my life. And I’m 51 years old!

A kid’s view is always skewed just a bit, but back in 1973 I have memories of playing in stacks of hardwood grape posts that still line our rows today. It was a “family” outing planting those first vines, with friends coming to help. At just six years old, I have a feeling the vines that I planted probably didn’t survive, but I remember it was hot, dusty and tiring. (By the way, I still feel vineyard work is hot, dusty and tiring!) Continue reading

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Lost and Found—It’s a Win-Win Situation

Tim pic 2Have you ever seen a Madroña wine with a crooked label or a wrinkled foil? Chances are that you have. But understand that it’s not part of a drunken pirate employment program or using a troop of deranged baboons at the helm of our equipment. Instead, our foiling and labeling machines sometimes have a mind of their own by spitting out extra labels or chewing up foils. The machines can be a little temperamental.

So, while bottling, we diligently set aside all these marred bottles to be used as tasting wines in the tasting room. Although the label is a little askew, the wine inside tastes perfect. Smart, eh!?! Continue reading

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