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Monterrey - Carmel

Monterrey - Carmel

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

Mer Soleil Vineyards

The Wagner family legacy of winemaking has been carried on for three generations. The family’s deep roots of farming grapes and producing wine began in 1915 in the Napa Valley. Charlie F. Wagner and Lorna Belle Glos Wagner, along with their son, Chuck, established Caymus Vineyards in 1972. Chuck saw great potential for producing quality wines outside of the Napa Valley as well, and by 1988, Chuck began planting land in the Santa Lucia Highlands. This appellation, located in Monterey County, is along the cooler coastline, yielding early ripening for Chardonnay. Mer Soleil Chardonnay became the product of this quality chosen site, and has been run by Chuck’s eldest son, Charlie F. Wagner II, since 2001.

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.

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.

Chesebro Wines

I love this tasting room. There is lots of space in the place and art to amuse you in between the tasting. The wines are fantastic and even though they are not widely advertised, they are a good buy.

The service is great and they enjoy spending time talking to you about the wine. Definitely check this place out if you are in Carmel Valley. I really enjoyed the red blend from Arroyo Seco.

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.

Pessagno

Calling to book with Pessagno was super smooth and the tour itself was incredibly cheap! $10/person! The tour ran about 90 minutes, which included a wine tasting. The property was not big, but the personality of our tour guide Chris was huge; what a nice, generous fella!

Huge tasting room- with records playing for background music. We were told we can even bring your own '45; if the staff approves, they will play it. They also had cheese platters available with Brie, Manchego, other varieties, nuts and dried fruits.

Great Pinot Noirs, Ports and Port Varieties. This vineyard's production is low, but quality is significantly high, especially for the price point.

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.

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.

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.

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