Travel Date: mid August 2016
- car with good gas mileage
- map of the wine trails
Start: We stayed at the Chukchansi Gold Resort & Casino in Fresno. It took about 20 minutes to reach the first winery. We only stopped at 3 but there are plenty more to visit! We left at 11am because that was when all of the wineries seemed to open, which was nice since we got to sleep in. This was our first full day in Fresno and we wanted something fun and easy to do! We had a designated driver, so if you plan on tasting a lot of wines please make sure you do as well!
A list of all the wineries and links to their websites here!
Address: 42415 Road 208
Friant, CA 93626
This was our first stop and they had beautiful sites! Any classic winery pictures should be taken here! You can get up close and personal with the vineyards and take some beautiful shots. The staff was somewhat cold and blunt. There was not much you could see from the inside and the staff did not offer any history or knowledge of the place. The wines here were limited and eclectic. They are known for there Syrah wines and wines from Argentina. There was about 5 red 5 whites and 1 or 2 rose wines. We did not like many of them except for the last (and most expensive) one. It was a sweet Syrah 2009 wine that was a blend of dark chocolate, cherry, and brandy priced at $42.
Address: 30246 Ave 7 1/2
Madera, CA 93637
This is the oldest Port winery and by far my favorite winery we stopped at! There was a large selection of port wines and the staff was very nice and friendly. The woman who was working was nice enough to tell us all about the history of Ficklin and showed us around the whole place! You can see the barrels of wines inside the warehouse and also go around back to where they grow grapes and other fruits. This also seemed like the favorite among the locals there. We picked up the Chocolate Passport, Raspberry Passport, and 3 padded wine containers so we could bring them back home with us. The wine here was reasonably priced ranging from cheaper wines of around $20-$40 to expensive wines of around $100-$500, we paid $18 for each.
Address: 9505 R. 30 1/2 Madera Ca. 93636
This was our last stop and most disappointing. They had limited options in wines. Their selection had a few Asian fusion wines and are known for their Alicante Bouchet wine grapes. This wine tends to be spicier. There was not much to look at on the inside and outside. The staff was friendly and eager to help us out which I enjoyed. I did like some of their white wines such as the NV Muscat Canelli but we did not end up buying anything here.
Recommendations: I would look at the map of wineries and the hours first. Some open at 11am some at 12pm and some close earlier than others. Also if you live in a state where the liquor laws are strict (like PA), the wine shops will NOT be able to ship any wine to you.