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.

Eden Rift Vineyards

Eden Rift Vineyards is among the oldest, continually producing estate vineyards in California and has been under vine since 1849. Eden Rift Vineyards is located in a remote, pacific refuge located in the Gavilan Mountain Range, just outside of the town of Hollister, CA. The Eden Rift Vineyard estate rests on the San Andreas Fault and is part of the Cienega Valley AVA. Located only 20-miles from the Pacific Ocean results in an ideal, temperate maritime climate as well as the coveted calcareous soils requisite in the cultivation of vivid, energetic Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. An historic, head-trained block of Zinfandel, planted in 1906, still thrives outside the estate’s main residence. Wine tasting is $15.00 per person. Be sure to tell Christian hello for us if he is pouring during your visit to Eden Rift Vineyards.   

Hours:

Open Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Reservations are not required, but always appreciated.

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.

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.

Otter Cove

THE WINERY:
Otter Cove Wines is a winery located in Santa Lucia Highlands, California. The wines and winery are produced by the owner Richard Oh. You can find Richard pouring in Carmel at the corner of San Carlos and 6th.
THE WINE:
Otter Cove Wines produces the following wine varietals: Chardonnay, Gewürztraminer, Pinot Noir, Riesling and Syrah/Shiraz. The price of wine tasting is a fee waived with purchase.

Visiting the Winery
Otter Cove Wines has the following amenities you can enjoy: Family Environment, Gift Shop, Private Tastings, Reception Facilities, Restaurant, Retail Sales, Wine & Food Pairing and Wine Tasting. If you want to visit Otter Cove Wines, it is open at the following times: Monday-Saturday, 12-8pm. Sunday, 12-6pm

Pelerin Wines

Pelerin is a micro-winery crafting small lots of exceptional wines from the Santa Lucia Highlands appleation. Pelerin, meaning "pilgram: in French, symbolizes Chris and Cathy Weidermann's guest to follow their passion.

Calera Wine Company

Calera Winen Company is a winery with vision and that vision is expressed so well in the wines that are produced there. Rather than follow the recommended path, Josh Jensen became a pioneer in American Pinot Noir. Taking his cue from the great domaines of Burgundy, which have grown grapes in limestone soil for centuries, he set out in search of the perfect spot in California to create wines that are truly unique, yet in the style of the greatest wines of France. In his search he ventured off the grid to plant on the site of an old limekiln in the Gavilan Mountains of California's Central Coast. Today Calera Wine Company still express that pioneer spirit and are revered the world over. We are happy to say that not just California Corks has taken note of this winery but that even Robert Parker is convinced: "Calera is one of the most compelling Pinot Noir specialists of not only the New World, but of Planet Earth." Why not stop in and enjoy some a really wonderful Pinot Noir experience with the wines produced by Winemaker Mike Walker. You will be glad you did.*

Hours:

Open Daily: 11:00am - 4:00pm
Tasting Appointments: 11am - 3:30pm
Reservations are not required, but always appreciated.

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.

Galante Vineyards

The tasting room is cozy and charming (there is no better word to describe anything about Carmel), with a Western theme. A major photo opportunity rests in an AMAZING boot shaped chair, do not miss that chance. Bellying up to the tasting bar, tastes are $10 for around 8 options (and when I asked to revisit a couple wines before making my purchase, I was happily obliged), and they had no problem allowing two of us to share a tasting. Major focus on reds, full bodied and strong! My test of a great red wine when I sip it - does it make me want to eat a steak or a plate of pasta? Yes? Sold!

The tasting room wasn't crowded so we were able to linger and explore the room between tastes, and a dish of free dark chocolate was delightful. Our taster even brought out some cheese and crackers to enhance the experience! Low pressure elegance is very appreciated.

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.

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