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Chardonnay Hillside 2021

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Chardonnay Hillside 2021
Chardonnay Hillside 2021
Tasting notes

Madrona Chardonnay is an elegant and complex wine with no one aroma or flavor dominating. Traditional Burgundian barrel fermentation is neatly married with cool tank fermentation, both of which are kept 'sur lie' until close to bottling. The selected level of malolactic secondary fermentation depends on the vintage -- the goal always being a wine exhibiting exceptional acid balance and a crisp, lingering finish.

AppellationEl Dorado
VineyardEstate Grown
AgingFive months in a mixture of new and 1 year old French Oak
Volume750 ml
Bottling Date12/07/2022
Cases Produced476

The Chardonnay vineyards, all located on the home estate in Camino, are a mixture of four different clones: the Wente clone, Dijon clones 76 & 95, and the old clone 4. With an east/west row inclination at the 3,000 foot elevation, temperatures are moderated, giving the vines good, warm days for full-maturity and cool nights to help retain the natural acidity in the grape. We take great care in balancing our Chardonnay vines, both in crop load and canopy, removing leaves for optimum indirect sun exposure on the fruit. Our reward is Chardonnay fruit layered with apple, pear, citrus and honey characters, ideal for our balanced style.

Paul Bush, Owner/Winemaker

Madroña Vineyards

Camino, California. 


We are a family-owned and operated winery focusing on terroir-driven, Estate-Grown fruit.

Annual Case Production:  12,000 cases

Planted Acres:  70 acres planted at the 2,850 to 3,000 foot elevation.

Career Background:  Having helped plant the family vineyards as a kid in 1973, I grew up working in our winery what seemed like every day after school. I had no intention of “winding up” in the wine industry and graduated from U.C. Davis in 1989 with a degree in Economics. However, with an interest in traveling abroad, our winery offered a flexible schedule and an opportunity to work with inspiring winemakers such as Mark Foster and Hugh Chappelle. I began managing the vineyards and business in 1991 and making the wines in late 2002.

Biggest Professional Challenge: Balance! Working with my wife, Maggie, we find our greatest challenge is how to be business owners with all of its responsibilities while making the wines, growing the grapes, marketing the brand and raising two daughters. Any given day can be filled with dusting the vineyards at daybreak, acid trials before lunch, working in the tasting room in the afternoon—and then throw in a swim meet or school play for spice.  Undoubtedly, every small, family winery tackles the same aspect of wearing so many hats, but the challenge and excitement is unique to each one.

Varietals that Madroña is Known for:  In total, we grow 27 varieties in our El Dorado vineyards. From within these plantings, however, I believe that Malbec, Cabernet Franc, Zinfandel, Riesling and the seven Portuguese varieties (for our New-World Port) are consistently outstanding.

Short Testimonial: I truly can’t imagine doing anything else but growing grapes and enjoying  wine. I believe the terroir of our region is unique with overall cool-climate aspects, peppered with warm summer days and a slightly shorter growing season. So finding the true expression of each variety for our vineyards ends up being an exciting and challenging adventure every vintage. The wines have more backbone and structure than most regions of California while showcasing the intense varietal character of mountain fruit. Most often, I find that the wine knows best in how it should be “made,” and I’m just along for the ride. As we once heard in France, “One does not make wine. One elaborates wine!” And with our Estate-grown grapes, I am quite content to be the “elaborator.”

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