Virtual wine trail in Madera County brings community together

MADERA COUNTY, Calif. (KFSN) -- With tasting rooms closed because of the COVID-19 pandemic, Madera County wineries are pouring virtually.

Madera County is home to a variety of wineries like Toca Madera Winery, which are now coming to you with virtual tastings.

"We've turned into a virtual winery basically. So virtual tastings on Instagram and Facebook on Wednesday, Thursday, Friday at 5. We do private virtual tastings and doorstep delivery has become our thing," said Shayne Vetter, a winemaker for Toca Madera Winery.

Vetter says they've seen a lot of support from local wine drinkers. People purchase their estate wines, tune-in and drink up.

About five local wineries from Madera to Oakhurst are participating in the virtual wine trail.

"Even though you can't be a tourist right now, you can be a virtual tourist and go to these places and go to wineries in a digital way," said Brooke Smith with Visit Yosemite Madera County.

Idle Hour Winery in Oakhurst is doing tastings Friday nights on Facebook.
They make 15 different varietals.

"I miss seeing our club members, which is why these virtual tastings have become so important, so at least once a week, we can connect," said Anne Marie dos Remedios of Idle Hour Winery & Kitchen.

Their customers are being delivered wine and keeping them in business.
Many wineries are offering free or low-cost deliveries or curbside pickup.

Toca is also doing private sessions on Zoom. Four bottles of wine are $75.

"We meet together on a time slot. I explain the wines, we talk about it and we have some fun and make some jokes and it's a good time for everyone," Vetter said.

The businesses are creating community over a shared glass of wine.

Winemakers hope to pour wine for the Madera Wine Trail in the first week of November.

Until then, here's how to join a virtual wine tasting.

Fasi Estate Winery:

Toca Madera Winey:

San Joaquin Winery:

Quady Winery:

Idle Hour Winery & Kitchen:
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