Monterrey - Carmel

Monterrey - Carmel

Joyce Vineyards

The tasting bar was full when we got here but not packed like Napa where you have to fight your way to a spot to get tastings. The decor is very modern. For the weekend they were even giving away orchids with purchases as well as waiving the tasting fee. Nice bonus since the wine here was the favorite of the group by far. I found the wines very nice and moderately priced as well. Always a good combo!

Rusell recommended a lunch stop, which I have to say he was spot on. Make this one of your stops when in Carmel Valley.

Crist Family Vineyard

Perched on a south facing rocky slope in Carmel Valley, California, 1,100 Bordeaux varietal grapevines are hand manicured and pampered to produce a sumptuous Cabernet blend.

These vines relish warm summer days and cool evening ocean breezes. Hand picked and crushed by the Crist family, this estate grown wine is lovingly hand crafted.

This tiny Hillside vineyard has produced a fantastic rich Cabernet that is both intense and classic with the feel of a top Bordeaux and the ripeness of a Napa wine. This Cab does have little amounts of the other Bordeaux varietals Blended in that give complexity and style to this wine, and have done so perfectly. The fruit is dark and robust and has super depth and balance. It starts off with a wonderful nose of black fruit, wild flowers, violets and a woody sage note. The mouth is thick and full with vibrant life and brightness with Currants, red and black Berries, cherry and fresh plum flavors that are tucked in seamless layers with mineral, smoke, cedar, cigar box and Vanilla. The color is very pure garnet and shines in the glass with purple edges. The wine is robust and shows a nice acidity and firm tannins that give it structure and focus that will age very well and should continue to develop for the next 3-5 years. With only 96 cases made, Spencer’s Cabernet Sauvignon can only be found in a few local restaurants and bottle shops in Carmel and Carmel Valley, This wine won’t last long.

Joullian Vineyards

This tasting room came highly recommended based on the merits of their wine. We (5) savored customized flights depending on what we each wanted to try, which Hal then poured in the correct order while he enthusiastically told us all about Joullian. While our group's style preferences vary, everyone was impressed with the wines and our tasting room experience.

Estancia Estates

Estancia’s winemakers strive to combine the best of both worlds: a state-of-the art winemaking facility, and a traditional, hands-on approach to each grape produce. In the end, this combination allows Estancia Estates to deliver the hand-crafted quality for which their wines are known. Estancia Estates's cutting-edge facilities enable them to take advantage of the beneficial advances in winemaking technology commitment to old world processes results in the complexity and elegance found in artisanal and boutique wines.

Alhona Vineyards

In keeping with old world tradition, our wines are similarly handcrafted in small batches. Grapes are carefully sorted to ensure only the finest of fruit and then placed in small 450 gallon, stainless steel fermenting tanks. Once fermented the wine is transferred to small oak barrels where it will age from 18 to 24 months. After bottling, the wine will remain in our cellar for a minimum of 12 months before it’s release. Our objective is to produce the finest artisan wine possible.
No public tasting room

VENTANA

Great little find! We were looking for a winery to go to in Monterey, when we found this one. We thought we would be going to an actual winery (vineyard), and were surprised when we ended up in a shopping center along a main road. However, don't let that discount their credibility. They still offer great wines and tastings are only $5 (for all of their wines), unless you buy a bottle valued at $15+, then the tastings are free.

All of us ended up walking out with 2 bottles each. We all really enjoyed the Chardonnay, hands down, and then we each had a different opinion about our favorite red.

Additionally, Ventana has a great patio if you want to take your tastings outside or have a picnic.

Parsonage Village Vineyard

Parsonage Village Vineyard is planted on a seven-acre south-facing hillside bench 500 feet above the Carmel River and a half mile east of the Carmel Valley Village. The mesoclimate(yes, it's not a microclimate which encompasses a larger area than meso) here is ideal for the all red varietals--Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, and Petite Verdot that make up the Estate Vineyard.

Six Strings Winery

ix Strings Winery Wins Gold and Silver at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition. Gary Cornick, former professional musician and partner at Six Strings Winery comments: “We are very pleased to have our wines recognized by the judges at this prestigious wine competition. This is the third year in a row that the wines we entered won awards." The San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition is the largest competition of American wines in the world. All of the wines were evaluated by an elite panel of more than 60 professional wine judges from across the country.

Paraiso Vineyards

Paraiso Vineyards has a lovely tasting room and boutique. They go beyond the expectant cork toppers and have a lovely showroom of beautiful odds and ends. They also have a delicious assortment of chocolates and truffles you can try and pair with your Pinot. I recommend the chocolate covered sea-salt caramels.

For the wine, they have a lovely array of reds and a few whites. They are known for their Chardonnay and Pinot Noirs. They have a lovely Zinfandel, which is not estate, but the grapes come from the not so distant Paso Robles. You can't really go wrong with any of the Pinot Noir's. I preferred the Eagle's Perch Chardonnay over the the other one as it had a bit more body. They only use French Oak, so more fruit forward and light on oak. They also use a small percentage of new French Oak, so if you prefer more fruit, you will definitely like this.

The tasting fees are cheap! It is only $5 to taste around 5 wines, so that alone makes it a great value. They sit on top of a hill, so the view from the back patio is beautiful! You can take a picnic lunch and enjoy a bottle under the tree on the picnic table.

If you are hitting Soledad wine country, you should definitely put this place on your list of things to do.

Misson Trail Vineyards

Mission Trail Vineyards is dedicated to showcasing the promise that Monterey Wine Country has to offer. Only small lots of hand-crafted wines are produced. The grapes for these wines are selected from choice locations throughout Monterey Count

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