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Displaying items by tag: Fresno

Tuesday, 29 December 2020 19:23

A Great San Joaquin Valley Urban Park

TASTE News Service, December 29, 2020 -- Fresno’s Woodward Park is a classic, great city park, providing Fresno residents and visitors with a beautiful destination for exercise, cultural events, and ways to reconnect with nature.

Sequoia Winter shot PicmonkeySequoia in Winter

Several tourism entities and representatives from three National Parks have unveiled a new cooperative promotion highlighting Kings, Sequoia and Yosemite National Parks during a recent press conference held at Fresno/Yosemite International Airport.

The program, called Majestic Mountain Loop, will help visitors looking to experience some of California’s most popular attractions, was created by Visalia Convention and Visitors Bureau, The Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau, and Fresno Yosemite International Airport.

“We see a lot of people who come through the area looking to see as much as they can during the limited time they have on their trips. The Majestic Mountain Loop website and other marketing material focuses on the highlights of each park, showing those time-crunched visitors what they can see in three national parks in three days,” said Rhonda Salisbury with the Yosemite Sierra Visitors Bureau.

Danika Heatherly, Convention and Visitors Bureau Manager for the Visalia CVB, agreed.

“These parks are immensely popular and people want to see them, but so many travelers have such limited vacation time. The Majestic Mountain Loop shows they can do it all,” she said.

Yosemite Falls PicmonkeyYosemite Falls The itinerary starts in Sequoia National Park, with stops at popular highlights such as the Giant Forest Museum, Moro Rock and the General Sherman Tree. The next attraction is Kings Canyon boasting popular spots like Boyden Cavern, Roaring River Falls and Zumwalt Meadow. Day three takes travelers to Yosemite National Park and such iconic spots as Tunnel View, Glacier Point and the Wawona Pioneer History Village. If a guest is traveling from the north, they can simply reverse the order.

“We’ve mapped out the best route for people who have big travel aspirations but small time budgets,” said Rhonda Jorn, Marketing and PR Manager for Fresno Yosemite International Airport. “As the gateway airport for to all three National Parks, it’s the most convenient air facility for vacationers to fly in to, rent a car and then have the opportunity to experience the unique beauty of each individual park.”

The agencies are also crafting a unique way to add excitement to the trip.

“We are working on a fun passport for those who complete the loop,” said Salisbury.

“Travelers will be able to get a stamp at various locations showing they visited the parks and in turn will receive a Majestic Mountain Loop souvenir.”

For travelers with more time, the two visitor bureaus have additional resources to equip visitors with the best information to maximize their vacation.Roaring Falls2 PicmonkeyRoaring Falls at Kings Canyon

“Guests can custom-craft their own itineraries with as little or as much as they could possibly want to see in whatever time they have. The longer the stay, the more they can see and do. We certainly have enough to fill however long they are staying,” said Salisbury.

While the promotions is just getting started, what started as a partnership between two visitors bureaus has quickly grown in to a coalition of both public and private entities, including the leadership at all three National Parks.

“Officials from each of the parks have been great to work with on this project,” said Salisbury.

“They are fully invested and have each eagerly come to the table while bringing their considerable resources to make this project successful. We are excited to have such buy-in from the National Parks,” added Heatherly.

Several private entities have joined the efforts as well, some even dedicating funds for marketing, such as Wuksachi Lodge. Located in the heart of Sequoia National Park on the western slope of the Central Sierra at 7,200 feet, the 102-room Wuksachi Lodge operated by Delaware North Companies Parks & Resorts features a panoramic mountain setting as well as full-service restaurant. The hotel is also one of the stops along the Majestic Mountain Loop.

To learn more about the Majestic Mountain Loop, visit www.MajesticMountainLoop.com.

Editor's note: Visitors to Fresno and Visalia and the national parks east of them can access links to the websites of hundreds of lodging and dining options in the area at Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

Sunday, 06 January 2013 13:55

April 21-23, 2017 Fresno State Vintage Days

Region: Central Valley     City: Fresno     Contact: www.fresnostate.edu

Napa and Sonoma may get all the press, and the Gold Country may have all of that rugged history, but the wine country of California’s Central Valley has its story too. Rightly famous for its rich soils and temperate climate, the Central Valley can produce wines of character that, when compared to some of those other regions, are a great value. You may not be familiar with some of these California wine regions, but they're definitely worth investigating.


Yolo County

Known for its warm days and mild Delta breezes, the wine country of Yolo County yields unforgettable wines of great character and diversity. Here you’ll find outstanding Syrah, Chardonnay, Zinfandel, Tempranillo and Cabernet Souvignon, but also lesser-grown varietals such as Viognier, Malbec, Primitivo, and Albarino, plus Sparkling and Port. You’re sure to find something memorable, and affordable, to suit your taste.

bogle port weekend CORKS SMALL

Virtually all of Yolo County's some two-dozen wineries are family owned and operated—including major producer Bogle Vineyards in the Clarksburg AVA—making for a more intimate experience for visitors. In the little town of Winters you can sample wines at the tasting rooms of Berryessa Gap and Turkovich Family Wines (also home to the Winters Cheese Company, which offers samples, as well). In Clarksburg, the Old Sugar Mill is a unique, historic venue, housing six tasting rooms representing eight wineries all under one roof!

Yolo County is also home to the U.C. Davis Viticulture and Enology department, as well as the Robert Mondavi Institute for Food and Wine Science

From Clarksburg to Davis, Winters to verdant Capay Valley and Dunnigan Hills, you’ll also enjoy gorgeous scenery, great dining opportunities, and comfortable, welcoming places to stay. For more information about Yolo County wineries and other attractions, visit www.yolocvb.org.


Suisun Valley

Suisun Wooden Valley Winery I 31n SMALLThree generations of the Lanza family have made Suisun wine at Wooden Valley Winery. Photo by Jo Diaz

Suisun Valley is rustic wine country, nestled in the unspoiled Solano County farmland between San Francisco and Sacramento. The Suisun Valley appellation was established in 1982, and is nestled between two coastal mountain ranges, southeast of Napa Valley. In this diverse agricultural region are approximately 10 wineries, whose vineyards grow 23 different wine grape varieties. They are best known for their Petite Sirah, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon.

If you fancy Bordeaux, Burgundy, and Rhone varietals, you must visit Ledgewood Creek, a winery named after the creek that meanders along the northern border of this estate. For lesser known varietals—such as a Malvasia Bianca made in a late harvest style—visit Blacksmith Cellars. And for a rugged, natural experience try Winterhawk Winery, which has placed owl houses and hawk boxes strategically throughout the vineyard, beckoning a wide variety of birds including Red-Tailed Hawks, Swainson’s Hawks, Sparrow Hawks, and Northern Harriers.

Besides the wineries, visitors will encounter many farm stands, selling fruits and vegetables, dried fruits, nuts and freshly produced olive oils, from family farms that have been handed down for generations. There are also regular, seasonal events that are fun and laid-back. For more information about Suisun Valley wineries, visit www.suisunvalley.com.



Though Lodi has produced wine for well over a hundred years, quality has soared in recent years. Growers have made commitment to the best viticultural practices and they've planted many new varieties to complement the Zinfandel which has always done well here. Located directly east of San Francisco at the edge of the Sacramento River Delta, the Lodi appellation (which has seven sub-appellations) is noted for its classic Mediterranean climate and its distinctive sandy soils. Today you can choose from nearly 80 wineries that call Lodi home, an abundance that’s impossible to bypass.

Lodi is the self-proclaimed Zinfandel Capital of the World, producing more than 40 percent of California’s premium Zinfandel. Many of the region’s most distinctive wines come from the thousands of acres of “old vines”, some dating back to the 1880s. Styles range from medium to full-bodied with intense red and black fruit flavors of cherries, raspberries, and blackberries.

Lodi is predominately a red wine producer with approximately 66 percent of the acreage dedicated to red varieties. For many years it was California’s best kept secret, enhancing the fruit in many of the state’s most popular premium varietal wines. Zinfandel, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Chardonnay account for the lion’s share of the acreage; however with more 60 varieties in commercial production Lodi offers a vast portfolio of exciting wines.

No visit would be complete without a stop at the Lodi Wine & Visitor Center. Here guests can taste from more than 200 Lodi wines and marvel at the hands-on demonstration vineyard.

For more information about Lodi wines, visit www.lodiwine.com.



In the heart of the Central Valley, and a gateway to Yosemite National Park, Fresno is a surprisingly good destination for wine tasting in rambling Madera County. Nearly 20 wineries are open to visitors here, with vintners who are passionate about making the best wines possible.

Cabernet Sauvignon, Syrah, Merlot, and Chardonnay are the leaders here, but visitors will also find excellent Tempranillo, Albarino, Sangiovese, and Barbera, plus delightful late harvest Zinfandel and luscious ports. Quality is paramount for these largely boutique wineries. For example, Engelmann Cellars focuses on creating hand-crafted reds and blends. Third-generation Ficklin Vineyards specializes in ports, including their lineup of flavored “Passport” wines. Nonini Winery, a fourth-generation family operation established in 1936, has 15 varieties of premium wines and offers a tour of the winery starting with the 1941 Garolla grape crusher from Italy and ends with the finished product resting in redwood tanks/oak barrels.

Two venues give visitors a chance to try several wines at once. Vino & Friends is a downtown Fresno wine store with a changing tasting menu. Also, be sure to stop by Appellation: California Wine Tasting & Visitor Center, which pours products from family owned wineries or vineyards of the Central Valley. The Center also offers wine education classes.

For more information about Fresno wineries and other activities in and around town, visit www.playfresno.org.


Editor's note: Planning a visit to any of the areas mentioned in this article? You'll find links to hundreds of lodging and dining options in Taste California Travel's Resource Directory.

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