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Monterrey - Carmel

Monterrey - Carmel

Georis Winery

Lovely wine tasting experience. We knew nothing about Georis but had it on our list of possible stops on a recent visit to the Carmel Valley. Sometimes the best experiences are surprises.
We shared a flight of five red wines which were served with a small plate of cheese and freshly baked bread from the Corkscrew Cafe. $20 seemed very reasonable for what was served.

We lingered over our wine for probably 40 minutes or so as we sat in the garden which is in front of the adobe (circa 1930) which serves as the tasting room. The charming garden had a European feel with an eclectic mix of seating areas. Colorful tablecloths and brightly painted metal chairs added to the ambiance.

The place mat and a small printed menu gave brief descriptions of the wine. We could drink at our own pace and didn't miss having a server rushing us on to the next pour.

Georis is a "keeper" on our list of Carmel Valley tasting rooms. We'll be back.

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

Chateau Sinnet

If you want to let your hair down, have a fun, memorable experience, try some unique wines, sample hot sauces, enjoy yummy cheese and crackers and cut loose - Chateau Sinnet is for you!

Spending an hour with Sonny will be an experience you will not soon forget - the man is a born entertainer and pours with a heavy hand. I strongly recommend making Chateau Sinnet the final destination on your Valley wine tasting itinerary so you're not pressed for time and are properly lubricated for a once-in-a-lifetime experience.

Szalay Winery

Szalay Winery is one of the most recent boutique wineries in the Santa Lucia Mountain
range of Carmel Valley. In the summer of 2003 Jozsef and Bette Kovacs
purchased 13 acres of land. Jozsef and Bette with their sons Jacob and Jesse began planting
and building the winery. Located sixteen miles into the valley from the Big
Sur coastline, we experience hot summer days with ocean influenced
breezes. Bud break on average is two weeks earlier than most California
growing regions, giving us a longer growing season. At 1100 foot elevation,
the south facing slope , with its sandy loam soil and sandstone base, is prime
for growing exceptional reds.

Bernardus Winery

The dynamics of Bernardus Winery's tasting room showed their unique personalities with ALL that work behind the bar! I was belly laughing over Greg's one liners while he poured, and as Philip explained the informative part of the wines we were tasting. Great combo!!!! All of us tasters on the other side of the counter had sooooo much fun!!
They have a couple of Sauvignon Blancs, several Chardonnays, a few Pinot Noirs, and a couple of blends. They're all well-made wines, but none impressed me until the 2006 Signature Marinus. It's full of tannins and spice and ages well. If you're in Carmel Valley, Bernardus is a must-stop.

Cima Collina

Nothing was extremely stand out here, and the room is very small. However, I was intrigued by the Howlin' Good Red and the donation they give to Monterrey County SPCA, so we stopped by and gave it a whirl. Caught them right before closing and had a nice tasting session. It is a pick and choose list if I remember correctly, and the ones I picked were very good but maybe priced a little too high. The Howlin' Good Red was a very good, upper middle of the road red blend, that I enjoyed enough to get a bottle.

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

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.

Chalone Vineyard

While the grapes for Chalone Vineyard Estate come from their high mountain estate, the grapes for the Monterey County wines come from distinct vineyards in the 75-mile long Salinas Valley, which begins in Monterey Bay and runs southeastward. Ancient volcanoes, active faults and tectonic plate movement created the Santa Lucia and Gavilan Mountain ranges, which flank the valley. The mountains form a wind tunnel, drawing cool ocean breezes off the Pacific Ocean into the valley. The cool air causes the vines to shut down and delays ripening of the grapes, leading to a longer growing season and hang time that results in intense fruit flavors.

Not open to the Public

Hahn Winery

This is a great vineyard and they make fantastic wines!

The view from the deck is beautiful. The tasting room itself is nice. The drive up to the tasting room is beautiful and they have a lovely estate with rows of roses and trees, next to the vineyards.

The service is fantastic and they are generous with the pours! I highly recommend going for a visit and enjoying the nice weather and scenery.

They make a number of really nice wines and bottle under a number of labels. You may be surprised just how many different labels they have.

They have some nice little snacks in the fridge there, but they are just enough to stave off hunger, so don't plan on getting stuffed with their snacks before tasting. I recommend getting a bottle and sitting on the deck with your own salami and cheese assortment.

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