Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Madrona Vineyards Winemaker "Elaborates the Wines" in El Dorado County, Sierra Foothills, CALIFORNIA-

Balancing Life and Work While Elaborating the Wine

So much is now written about work/life balance, but it isn’t always do-able.  It takes effort, as winemaker Paul Bush of Madroña Vineyards in Camino, near Placerville in El Dorado County will frankly tell you.

Maggie and Paul Bush
 Paul reveres balance in both life and his work, which is wine.  “Together with my wife Maggie, we find that our greatest challenge is how to be business owners with all of those responsibilities while still growing the grapes, making the wines, doing what’s required for marketing the Madroña Vineyards brand, and at the same time raising two daughters,” he says.  “Any given day can be filled with attending to the vineyards at daybreak, measuring the progress of wines in the barrel in the wine before lunch, working in the tasting room in the afternoon – and then throw in a swim meet or school play for spice.”

Balance is something that Paul believes is crucial in wine too.  When you visit this winery you’ll understand how much he took to heart a statement from a winemaker friend in France:  “One does not make wine.  One elaborates wine!”  With great fruit from the extended family’s own Madroña, Enyé and Sumu Kaw vineyards, Paul is quite content to be the elaborator.  “Most often, I find that the wine knows best about how it should be made, and I’m just along for the ride,” he says modestly.

Lake Tahoe White Wine
on the Madrona bottling line
One nice tip of the hat to the Sierra Nevada is the Lake Tahoe White and Lake Tahoe Red wines, a special bottling in gift packs that wine tourists love.

But more than anything else, the Madroña Vineyards wines are meant to be at a table with food.  They are balanced and focused on the characteristics of the fruit.  Paul does not over-manipulate the wines, doesn’t like to add enzymes during fermentation, and strives to show the character of what his Foothills vineyards produce.  “The quality of a wine is determined predominately in the field,” Paul says.  “By the time the grapes get to the winery, it’s a lot of babysitting.  The mantra is:  don’t screw it up!”

Paul is fond of their Cabernet Franc, saying it has a “glorious nature in that it pairs with almost anything.”   He is equally enthusiastic about their Malbec, calling on serendipity as the force that led them to plant it at 2800 feet – with a result of intense fruit and color and weight with surprisingly soft tannins.

Madroña Vineyards
2560 High Hill Road
Camino, CA 95709
     530-644-5948 or 800-230-7662


     You can read more about this winery and enjoy a recipe that pairs well with Madrona's Malbec in the soon-to-be-published book, Wineries of the Sierra Foothills.   
      Sign up to get an alert when it's published via a simple process at the book's website,  www.wineriesofthesierrafoothills.com   There will be loads of ongoing features on Sierra Foothills wineries, and notification of book-signing events near you.

The Madrona Malbec pairs well with food,
but the book gives you a very special recipe
straight from the Winemaker family kitchen...

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