The Madera Vintners Association Awards Winery of the Year, Winemaker of the Year and Winegrower of the Year

Madera, Calif.- 2012 marks the 10th year anniversary of the Madera Wine Trail, and the Madera Vintners Association (MVA) is celebrating by honoring three wine industry professionals who have contributed to the region’s winemaking success. Three awards have been given out by the Association for: Winery of the Year, Winemaker of the Year, and Grower of the Year. The MVA will honor these recipients on April 19, 2012 at a special “Evening of Accolades” wine dinner at The Vineyard Restaurant in Madera.

The Madera appellation is one of the oldest American Viticulture Areas in California. Madera County has a long tradition in the wine industry and strives to promote excellence in winemaking throughout the region. The Madera Vintners Association was established by local wineries to ensure that the long-standing tradition of winemaking continues in Madera County. The MVA has selected three honorees:

Birdstone Winery has been selected as Winery of the Year and is a family-owned winery located on the Eastern edge of the Madera AVA (American Viticulture Area). Birdstone Winery was established to produce world-class wines from the outstanding grapes available in the Madera appellation. This accomplishment has been rewarded with numerous medals and accolades from a variety of Local, Regional and International wine competitions. “Since the day we opened our doors, we’ve been obsessed with finding the best fruit, creating great wine, and making sure our guests have the best experience possible” – Tony Kirk, Owner/Winemaker.

Peter Ficklin has been awarded the title of Winemaker of the Year. He is a third generation winemaker and President of Ficklin Vineyards. Ficklin Vineyards is renowned for its California Port-style wines. The winery was established in 1946 and planted authentic Portuguese grape varieties. During his career at Ficklin, Peter has not only continued producing the award-winning Old Vine Tinta Port from the solera started in 1948, but also revived the Vintage Port program and founded a Tawny Port solera system producing 10, 15, 20 and 25-year-old Tawny Ports, all consistently receiving national recognition.

John Simpson, a man who has largely shaped the wine business in California, is deservingly being honored as Winegrower of the Year. From Madera, Simpson has over the years been one of the largest grape landowners and managers in the state of California. John continues to push the boundaries of grape growing proving Madera grown grapes produce internationally acclaimed wines. Many wineries in Madera, and California, receive their grapes from Simpson.

The MVA is proud to recognize these individuals who have helped bring success to the region’s wine industry. The Madera Wine Trail will be hosting “Meet the Winemaker Weekend” on May 12 & 13, where guests can visit over 10 wineries and taste dozens of excellent local wines. More information about the MVA and the Madera Wine Trail can be found on www.MaderaWineTrail.com or by calling 800-613- 0709.