Chelsea Madren aka OC Food Diva: Johnsonville's The Sausage Dome Champion, World Food Championships E.A.T. Certified Food Judge, KCBS Certified BBQ Judge, Brand Ambassador, Culinary Researcher, Food & Travel Critic, Food Competitor, and Recipe Developer
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Madera Wine Trail, Part 1: Idle Hour Winery in Oakhurst, CA
The Madera Vintners Association’s family wineries presented Madera Wine Trail’s Wine and Chocolate Weekend to kick off Valentine’s Day week. Our weekend started with a detour due to the 5 freeway being closed at the Grapevine. A four hour trip turned into a 6-hour cold, rainy drive up to Madera. Getting in at 1:30am on Saturday morning, we were tired and just wanted to go to sleep. I was amazed how courteous and accommodating the front desk staff was at the Hampton Inn in Madera. The front desk manager got us checked in, gave us our HHonor welcome goodies, and even an upgrade to a King suite (perks of being a Gold HHonors member). In less than 10 minutes, we were snoozing away and dreaming of our adventure ahead of the Madera Wine Trail.
We started at the northern-most point of the wine trail in Oakhurst, which is just 12 miles south of Yosemite National Park. We had stayed in Oakhurst before during a week-long vacation of visiting and hiking through Yosemite. In this quaint little town, you’ll find Idle Hour Winery. They even have Queen’s Inn attached, an 8-room inn complete with wine bar and beer garden. Idle Hour Winery produces small lot, single vineyard designated wines using sustainably grown grapes and makes the wine gently using native yeast fermentation, gravity flow and other traditional methods. They specialize in Viognier, Syrah, Pinot Noir, Tempranillo, Petite Sirah, Malbec, and Cabernet Franc. Their tasting room is very spacious for the size of the winery with wine barrels stacked along the edges and country décor all around. And while it’s a very open room, it still makes you feel at home.