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The country’s oldest port-producing vineyard will set up shop in Midtown by the end of the year, combining wine and port tasting with a kitchen store.
Called Ficklin Wilcox, the store is owned by Ficklin Vineyards, which was established in Madera, Calif., in 1946.
A combination kitchen store and tasting room, it’s a new endeavor for the company.
“I felt like it was an original concept,” said Liz Wilcox of Ficklin Wilcox. “I haven’t seen anything quite like it, and my mother-in-law and I have been talking about doing something like this for years.”
Wilcox said she comes from a retail background, spending years working with Williams Sonoma.
The business will sell kitchenware such as cutlery, glassware, dishes, linens and cooks’ tools, and it will sell the full range of Ficklin Vineyards’ wines and ports.
“We’ll have dozens of varieties,” she said, adding that some table wines will be produced specifically for the Sacramento store.
Classes will be offered in an educational space at the rear of the building, which is located on 20th Street between I and J streets. Emphasis will be placed on learning how to pair wines with foods, but classes will also be offered on cooking and other topics.
Local chefs will be brought in to do cooking demonstrations with some of the wines, and Wilcox said there will likely be cooking of some sort every day.
Complimentary wine tasting will be available, and customers will be able to taste several varieties of port, a sweet wine commonly consumed after meals that originated in Porto, Portugal.
Being located in Madera, Ficklin Vineyards benefits from long, hot, dry summers that enable it to grow Portuguese grapes used in red wines.
Madera, however, isn’t prime country for tourists, and it doesn’t have a retail base to draw customers from, so Wilcox suggested the city she spent part of her teens and early 20s in – Sacramento.
“When we thought about looking for a place to put this tasting room, we thought, ‘There’s only one neighborhood in Sacramento that would be ideal for this, and that’s Midtown,’ ” Wilcox said. “I love the mixed-use buildings and the foot traffic seven days a week.”
Ficklin Wilcox will go before the Sacramento Planning Commission in October, and once everything is OK’d, the store will open quickly – Wilcox said she’s shooting for Nov. 1 to be open in time for holiday shoppers.
The store is expected to be open from 10 a.m. - 8 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. on Sunday. Hours may be tweaked depending on customer demand once the store opens.
“We’re really looking forward to being a part of the community,” Wilcox said. “It’s great to be able to have a store in such a vibrant part of Northern California.”
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