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Madera Vintners celebrate wine, growers

The Madera Vintners Association honored growers Loren and Laurie Freeman as Persons of the Year and All Ag and Golden Eagle Charter as Honorable Partners at a 9th annual California Wine Month Celebration last weekend.

Twenty-one local wineries, vintners, restaurants and caterers served more than 200 guests at Fasi Estate Winery on Friday. The event benefited the Madera Vintners Association's Student Grant Program for Fresno State students pursuing degrees in viticulture or enology.

Owners of Laurie’s Vineyard, growers Loren and Laurie Freeman provide premium quality grapes not only to local wineries, but those as far as Temecula County as well. The first wine grape varieties planted in Laurie's Vineyard were Sauvignon Blanc, Sauvignon Musque and Semillon. These varieties started this wine grape for the Madera boutique wineries project in 2010. Laurie’s Vineyard has since added more varieties and has had the opportunity to work with boutique wineries in Fresno, Madera and San Diego counties. The vineyard grows eight varieties of white wine grapes and eight varieties of red wine grapes.

“Their vineyards and farmstead are a showplace. But, first and foremost, the Freemans are lovers of really good wine and know the difference between grape farming and wine growing,” said Ray Krause, owner and winemaker of Westbrook Wine Farm in Madera County. Westbrook Wine Farm was the first winery to have displayed “Laurie’s Vineyard” on its labels.

Longtime Madera Wine Trail sponsor All Ag is a subsidiary of Villagomez Farms of Sanger and has provided farm labor for vineyards, wineries, stone fruit and packing sheds throughout the San Joaquin Valley since 2000.

Golden Eagle Charter has worked with the vintners association for years to provide safe transport for hundreds of visitors during wine trail events and to tasting rooms year-round.

Friday’s celebration benefited the Madera Vintners Association’s Student Grant Program for Fresno State students pursuing degrees in viticulture or enology. The association is still accepting grant applications through Nov. 17.

The next Madera Wine Trail event is the annual Holiday Spirit Weekend on Nov. 12 and 13 during which guests can visit participating wineries and taste dozens of local wines.

For information on the association, its grant program or wine trails, visit or call 800-613-0709.

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