Califonia Bountiful

On location: Madera County

January/February 2019 California Bountiful magazine

What makes it distinctive? Find out!

Located at the geographic center of California and south of Yosemite National Park, Madera County offers beauty, heritage and charm. Formed in 1893, it features outdoor adventures such as fishing and hiking in the Sierra Nevada and productive agriculture in the valley, including almonds, milk and winegrapes.





Peter Ficklin, Madera

Winemaker Peter Ficklin specializes in creating ports: hand-crafted premium wines made with Portuguese varietal grapes from small vineyards in California. The third-generation winemaker continues the family business started by his grandfather in 1948. Ficklin said he loves what he does, adding, "Making the wine and then seeing people enjoy the wine is a blessing."





Wine & Chocolate Weekend, Madera Wine Trail

Lovers of wine and chocolate can have the best of both worlds along the Madera Wine Trail the weekend of Feb. 9-10. Visitors will experience Madera's rich wine heritage and family wineries, while tasting a variety of award-winning vintages and sampling gourmet chocolates. Wine & Chocolate Weekend also features live music, shopping and food from local restaurants and food trucks.




Madera County Arts Council and Circle Gallery, Madera

A painting of an almond orchard in bloom, nature-inspired sculptures and wearable art such as hand-painted scarves are examples of what visitors might find here. A place for local artists to display their creations, the gallery often features work that celebrates agriculture.



Fossil Discovery Center, Chowchilla

Visit one of the largest middle-Pleistocene fossil excavation sites in North America, with exhibits documenting prehistoric life in the San Joaquin Valley during the last Ice Age. Get face-to-face with the creatures of Earth's past, including the bones of a giant Columbian Mammoth.




Vineyard Restaurant & Bar, Madera

With a wine-country atmosphere, the Vineyard Restaurant & Bar features a menu of Italian traditions and modern influences. Chef/owner Chris Mariscotti uses local proteins, produce and nuts, and a variety of boutique wines from Madera and elsewhere in the San Joaquin Valley.


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