Madera vintners celebrate California wine month

October 3, 2017

Cynthia Wood of the viticulture and enology program at California State University Fresno receives the MVA Honorable Partner award from Demetrio Papagni owner of Papagni Wines.

A gathering of about 250 met at Birdstone Winery, 9400 Road 36 in Madera Ranchos to celebrate the fine wines of Madera County.


Under designation from Governor Jerry Brown, a proclamation was issued designating September as California Wine Month. In 2016 the California wine industry added $34.1 billion to the state’s economy while shipping 285 million cases of wine worldwide, according to wineinstitute.org


Be they oenophile, sommelier or just casual wine enthusiasts the participants enjoyed the full-bodied flavors of vino paired with gourmet foods and rich chocolates served by area restaurants and associate members of the Madera Vintners Association on Sept. 15.


Madera Vitners Association co-presidents Demetrio Papagni, owner of Papagni Wines, and Walt Whelan, of Toca Madera Winery, presented awards to two active members of the local wine community.


Papagni presented the Honorable Partner award to Cynthia Wood. She is the program-outreach and event coordinator for the viticulture and enology program at California State University, Fresno. A member of the department since 1981, she is responsible for developing and coordinating educational and fundraising events benefitting the viticulture and enology research and academic programs, according to the Fresno State website.


Whelan presented the Vintner of the Year award to Peter Ficklin of Ficklin Vineyards. This year, the winery is working its 70th crush to make its award winning port. Ficklin is the third generation vintner personally supervising America’s most award-winning port. A founding member of the Madera Vintner Association, Ficklin Vineyards operates the oldest family-owned winery in Madera County.


Event proceeds benefit the Madera Vintners Association's scholarship program helping to fund the education of students in viticulture and enology programs at Fresno State.


Live music for the evening wine tasting came from a guitar duo known as Jazz Xperiment, featuring Madera native Randy Freeman and Jim Hampton of Clovis.


Member wineries that participated in the celebration included hosts Birdstone, Ficklin Vineyards, Quady, San Joaquin Wine Company, Idle Hour, Fasi Estate and Toca Madera Wineries.


Food vendors that served their products included Enzo Olive Oil, The Vineyard Restaurant, The Chocolate Dachshund, Cowboy Toffee, Mojo’s Catering, Piccadilly Inn, Pastry Brazil, Pete and Maria’s, Pacini’s Catering, Chef Mike Mazzoni and Fiscalini Cheeses.

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