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Madrona Vineyards

Any event held in South Lake Tahoe would not be complete until it has showcased the perseverance and unique quality of its participants. This is why Madroña Vineyards is an ideal winery to be included in this year’s South Lake Tahoe Sample the Sierra celebration.

Known for its balanced, well-structured, expressive wines (which many attribute to its respect for and use of teamwork within the ranks of its staff members and managers alike), Madroña and its staff are well-versed in the process of creating truly high quality wines in spite of the occasional trials of higher elevations. Madroña was recognized as being at the highest elevation of any vineyard in California back when it was founded by Dick and Leslie Bush 40 years ago. Creating wonderful wines even then, the vineyard has remained in the family, its management passing from the parents to one of their 4 children when Dick and Leslie retired. It is perhaps partially due to this practice, as it led to the vineyard falling into the hands of one who grew up being familiarized with the practices and culture of winemaking, that Madroña has grown more successful and more sustainable in recent years.

Its current owners/managers, Paul and Maggie Bush, now utilize solar power to cool their wines and reuse “waste products” from their grape vines to benefit the growth of their future crops. Madroña is now not only one of the highest elevation vineyards in California, but one of the most eco-friendly as well. Such efficient and sustainable practices allow sufficient attention to be given to the actual production of the wine, the majority of the staff giving opinions and suggestions which help to shape unique tastes in the varietals which Madroña offers. Producing three very different collections in addition to its own specialty wines, this winery applies a diligence and enthusiasm which makes each varietal distinct and desirable. “The El Dorado appellation is truly unique in California,” comments Paul Bush. “We embrace this expression of fruit characters knowing that people enjoying our wines can taste that sense of place.” An extreme amount of attentiveness to detail is exercised among the staff, and there is no such thing as a wine which has been made without extensive thought, care, and dedicated effort in the face of El Dorado County’s geographical challenges.

These wines which Madroña creates through perseverance and ingenuity can be experienced not only at this year’s Sample the Sierra, but at relatively inexpensive tastings offered daily from 11:00am to 5:00pm in the Madroña Vineyards Tasting Room; the Tasting Room is located 45 miles east of Sacramento, on High Hill Road in Camino, California. They can also be purchased at the vineyards themselves as well as online, at With such open, environmentally friendly, efficient, and determined practices, the winery founded and run by the Bush family is one of the ideal wineries for a festival of unique taste and local pride such as Sample the Sierra.

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