Friday, September 6, 2013

Day 6- Final Day California- Home Tomorrow

Today we left Visalia and drove about an hour to Madera. It will be close to Fresno, when we fly out tomorrow. About a half hour drive. Less busy here in Madera.
We checked in this afternoon at the Springhill Suites-a Marriott hotel. We had stayed in a Marriott in Visalia and they really are nice hotels. From the moment we pulled up to the building, we knew we were going to like this place. Inside, the decor was so warm and inviting- and so was the staff. We feel very much at "home" here.

While in Madera we had a few tours set up for ourselves- the first being Home Grown Cellars, an 80 acre Alex Lehman (owner), took busy time out from the field to show us around, tell us about the business and allow some sampling.  Almonds, fresh off the trees, pomegranate wine and juices and even pomegranate honey!We can definitely tell you that fresh from the farm is the best way to go!

                                       (Pomegranate tree- not quite ripe yet!)

                               (Almond trees and almonds on ground through middle of road
                                ready to be picked up).

Madera is The Heart of Pomegranate Country and the Pomegranate Festival will be arriving here in November. A week long celebration with arts/crafts, food, wine, & more!
Alex told us tours are normally by appt. only.

After a trip to the fields we headed over to Quady Winery, which specializes in dessert wines. We were graciously welcomed by the owner Andrew Quady, with a personal tour of his business and accomplishments over the years.

A great part of the visit of course was the opportunity to sample the wines made here.
Our pourer was Cynthia, was very friendly, knowledgeable, and made us feel at home. We even got to try out their wine slushies! Wine is for sale and very reasonably priced.
Saw some unique items in store too: made with wine corks-check it out:

We highly recommend a visit for your own taste tasting when in the Madera area.

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