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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

Chateau Julien Wine Estate

What an awesome winery!

We came here yesterday to do some wine tasting. It was pretty late in the day so I think we were the last ones there? We were the only ones there while we were tasting...

Anyway, the guys who did the tasting for us were pretty awesome. I loved that they gave us a little background on each of the wines before we sampled. I LOVED the port that they gave us. It was just a very laid back tasting, but with some really good quality wines.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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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