This appellation is home to more than 10% of California’s vines. Located in the mid-Central Valley, the Madera AVA covers most of Madera County, as well as northern Fresno County. The viticultural area is hot, with little reprieve from the California sun. Late-December frosts cool the vines into much needed dormancy. The region's 38,000 plus acres of vineyards blanket a low-lying, almost flat landscape, with most grapes reaching extreme ripeness levels and destined for jug wine production. However, a few producers make remarkable port and dessert wines with this fruit. Of note are Quady who makes dessert wines from the highly aromatic black and orange Muscats, and Ficklin who specializes in a range of Port style wines from classic Portuguese grapes such as Tinta Cao, Tinta Madeira and Touriga. Madera, one of the oldest growing areas in California, also has an eye on the future, and a number of local producers are now focusing their efforts on premium table wines.
In the southern Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina and Georgia vineyards are small and few, yet the establishment of the Upper Hiwassee Highlands could bring much more.
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Blue Book Taste Profiles for the Madera AVA
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Madame Merlot, you’re a big gal, soft and smoky; how we love your full, curvaceous figure. But you are