Madera Wine Trail – 5th Stop: Ficklin Vineyards

We took the short drive back to the west side of Highway 99 to our last stop of the day – Ficklin Vineyards.  Their address is on Avenue 7 1/2 which is actually their long driveway through the vineyard to the winery.  If I had more time, I’d go back to photograph some of the old gnarled vines.

Each time I begin photographing a new location, I shoot a photo of the name so I can accurately remember where I was or when the photos changed from one location to the next. From where we parked, there was no convenient sign so this T-shirt in the vendor area had to be my marker.Fricklin T-ShirtThis was an interesting place. It has been around for a while – according to its website since 1946.  I liked the aged feel – especially the  adobe buildings and large older looking wine vats and casks.

Old Wine Casks

Old Wine Casks

Block and Tackle on old Adobe Walls

Block and Tackle on old Adobe Walls

In a hidden inner sanctum we ran across storage of some old bottles of (I assume) Port.  I overheard someone say that some bottles were as old as 1952 – did not verify that claim.  Looked pretty impressive in that cool dark room.  Then I lit it with the flash for an image and the dust layers really showed up to indicate age.

Dusty Bottles

Dust layers indicating age.

Racked Bottles

Behind me was this big vat.

VatNote to Ficklin managers: It would enhance the tours if you posted signs on the walls explaining some of what we are looking at and how it is used.  I like looking and taking the images but would like it more if I knew what it did or how it was used and why.  Understanding your efforts usually enhances the appreciation of the end results.

I thought the next image was cool.  Did not see the wooden mallet that just had to be around.

Bung

Bung

Wine Press

Would be interesting to return in the fall to see this wine press at work

I did not see any stainless steel tanks in this winery.  Looks like a lot of old world wine making in casks of all sizes.Wine Casks

There were tasting stations all around the wineryWine Tasting

Inside the large warehouse we found the wine sales, gift shop, art on display and more tasting tables.

Wine StoreWarehouse

Wine Tasting Table

Expounding on the virtues of the products

Not until after I returned home to view these images did the thought cross my mind that all these barrels were held in place with those itty bitty wedges.  Interesting.

Stacked Casks

Impressive stacks of casks

In the second post I mentioned one Jaguar.  Here is the other one.Jag Sign

Jaguar

I think he was just being affectionate.Affectionate Jaguar55 pounds of mischievous muscle.

Finally, time to eat.  We return to the BBQ set up by the Boy Scouts only to find they had just run out of meat.  Sigh.  Should not have waited until 4 pm for lunch.

We wrapped up the day with a visit to Lou Rodman’s Bar stool store in Fresno where we made a surprisingly quick purchase of two stools for our kitchen counter (hunger and the wine surely helped a quick decision) and off to a nice dinner at Cheesecake Factory.  Overall a fun day with friends and then dinner with my lovely bride.

More images from Ficklin Vineyards here.

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About Ron Ludekens

God created a marvelous world full of wonderful sights and people. He is the Creator and it is His Palette of beauty that Ron Ludekens tries to capture as photographic images. Images of nature or images of people and their lives - both reflect the handiwork of the Creator. Ron is a photographer living in Visalia, California - part of the great Central Valley. He is immediately surrounded by agriculture and all the hard working people that feed our world. A short distance away are the grand Sierra Nevada mountains, impressive National Parks and, wider still, the vast diversity that California has to offer. Ron is one of the family owners of the L.E. Cooke Co Wholesale Nursery - a leader in the horticulture industry of North America. Even on the job, his camera is always near by. His photos for the nursery trade have been published in print and around the websites of nurseries across America. Ron is also a leader in his church and its missions. Ron's photography has been a resource the church uses in its communications and message. Plus photos of all the fun things we do are shared among members and friends. Ron also loves capturing precious moments in lives of people. Weddings, senior portraits, graduations, family gatherings, maternity and special events. Ron will not shoot more than four weddings a year to provide the attention to detail and followup that is required for such an important milestone event in the lives of the couple. Ron can be reached at 559-732-7165 or cell 559-967-5370.
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