I just finished pouring at a wonderful Friday evening tasting at the El Dorado Hill’s Nuggett store. Two things always strike me when I pour for a cross-section of the public in our own region. Number one, I’m always surprised by the fact the many people who live in El Dorado county (or the surrounding counties) have no idea that we have wineries in the county. One would think that with our being in business for over three decades, most residents who have an interest in wines would have at least heard of us. (Is that ego on my part, showing its ugly face?) And it’s not just people who have recently moved into the area. It just shows that the wineries need to do a better job educating residents that wineries and agriculture as a whole are an important part of El Dorado county.
But, the second thing that constantly amazes me at these tastings is almost counterintuitive if you consider what I’ve just written as above. The amount of local support for our winery and the local wine industry at large is wonderful. The number of people who have been following, tasting and buying wines from Madroña since our beginnings is glorious. They remember tasting the wines downstairs on barrels before we had a tasting room. People remember events we did 20 years ago. They’ll talk about vintages that have been sold out longer than some of our new customers have been alive (i.e. the 1990 Claret). That’s almost 30 years of support! And when it comes down to it, it is the locals that have kept us in business (and hopefully will keep us in business) over the years. I do not say this lightly, and we appreciate it more than you know.
Tastings for the public reinforce, rejuvenate, educate, and give a sense of warmth, and that’s just for us. I hope it’s some of the same for you!