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Holiday Spirit Weekend to offer discounts for military, fun for all

Veterans and active-duty military will be eligible for discounts when Madera Wine Trail hosts its 15th annual Holiday Spirit Weekend this Saturday and Sunday with seven wineries offering drinks, live music, shopping and gourmet foods by local caterers and food trucks.

“We recognize all those who have served our country and given so much for us," said Walt Whelan, co-president of Madera Vintner's Association. "All the past and present heroes, we are incredibly grateful for your courageous service.”

San Joaquin Wine Company, Toca Madera Winery, Papagni Wines and Westbrook Wine Farm are offering 20 percent off a bottle of wine or a case of wine. For all other wineries, ask on the day about a special veterans discount.

Guests wishing to receive the discount must show proof of military service, such as U.S. Uniform Services Identification Card, U.S. Uniform Services Retired Identification Card, current leave and earnings statement, Veterans Organization Card, photograph in uniform or wearing uniform, DD214, citation or commendation.

“We look forward to welcoming local veterans and active-duty military at the Holiday Spirit Wine Trail Weekend,” said Demetrio Papagni, co-president of Madera Vintner’s Association. “To meet the American heroes will make this day extra special for our November Holiday Spirit Wine Trail Weekend.”

For all attendees, each $30 ticket will include a keepsake wine glass and a pass to taste wine on the trail all weekend long. Designated drivers may take part free of charge.

Below are details on participating wineries.

Fäsi Estate Winery

The staff of Fäsi Estate winery will showcase three newly released wines as they kickoff the holidays from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. Saturday and Sunday.

The winery’s 2016 Grenache Blanc will be paired with Dubliner cheese and crisp green apple slices. The 2016 Syrah Rosé will be paired with melon bites. The 2015 Malbec will be paired with Swiss chocolates.

Fasi Estate Winery can be found at 42415 Road 208, three miles north of State Route 145 and just off SR 41 on Road 208.

Papagni Wines

Visitors to Papagni Wines tasting room from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m. this weekend will be able to sample reds (2011 Alicante Bouschet and 2015 Barbera), whites (2015 Pinot Grigio and 2015 Grenache Rose) and desert wines (2016 Muscat and 2003 Alicante Bouschet Dessert). Joining the holiday spirits will be Italian biscotti cookies from Noni Julie’s Biscottis, handcrafted chocolates by Fab Delights, and various dishes by executive chef Sherry Rovenstine of Central Valley Caterers.

Claude Ball, author of “Soul Full of Heart,” will autograph his book and local artists will exhibit their handiwork. Updated information on recently released wines will be available upon request as well as escorted winery tours.

Papagni Wines is at 9505 Road 30 1/2.

San Joaquin Wine Company

The staff of San Joaquin Wine Company will release a new dry Rosé and new vintages of Zinfandel and Sauv Blanc. Wines will be available at a discount. Other shopping options will include Deckerate Dot modern calligraphy, Miners Mix rubs and seasonings, LuLaRoe clothing, You Sweet Thing jams and jellies, and a variety of goodies from Chickies Tasty Treats. Gastro Grill will sell foods, and Rhythm Review will perform from noon to 4 p.m. today.

San Joaquin Wine Company is at 21821 Avenue 16 in Madera.

Westbrook Wine Farm

Westbrook Wine Farm will be available on both days by appointment or invitation only (559-868-3499) at 49610 House Ranch Road in O’Neal’s, about 35 minutes from Madera or Fresno. Artisanal wines will be presented to those 21 and older by grower/winemakers without crowds or entertainment.

“In an uncrowded and civilized, (albeit rustic) setting you will taste-travel from the Rheine through Bordeaux and into Italy with our Uber Rhenish, Fait Accompli and Madera Barbera and more,” said proprietors Ray and Tammy Krause.

No smoking or guest dogs allowed. Ficklin Vineyards

Reservations will be required for small cellar tours of Ficklin Vineyards’ historic adobe building scheduled for 10:30 a.m., 11:30 a.m. and 12:30 p.m. The building, built in 1946, contains casks from as far back as the early 1800s. Port tasting will be from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. with no admittance after 1 p.m. and no general wine tasting offered after 2 p.m. VIP-only port seminars will take place at 3 and 4 p.m. Artisan vendors will be present along with pairing ideas and holiday recipes.

For tickets, reservations or information, call 661-0075.

Other wineries

Toca Madera Winery will feature holiday shopping vendors as well as live music, food and wine at 36140 Avenue 9 in Madera. Idle Hour Winery (41139 Highway 41 in Oakhurst) will also participate in this weekend’s wine trail.

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