Baby Boomers’ Travel Guide: Wine Tasting in Carmel Valley, California

Carmel Valley, California -The wines of the Monterey wine country are very unique.  Why?  I’m glad you asked.

Here’s this from the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association:

“Monterey Wine Country is home to the Blue Grand Canyon™. The Monterey Canyon begins at Moss Landing, in the middle of Monterey Bay, and extends approximately 95 miles into the Pacific Ocean. The canyon’s bottom is about 2 miles below the surface, making it comparable in depth to the Grand Canyon. This has a significant impact on the growing areas, the wind pattern, the constant and predictable weather throughout the County, and the coolness of the region in northern to central Monterey Wine Country.

In addition, the Thermal Rainbow™ is a leading factor in the 42 varietals that are grown throughout the County. The factors of the Thermal Rainbow™ are both geographical and time dependent. At the start of the day temperatures are consistent from the Monterey Bay all the way to Southern Monterey County, usually in the low 50’s. The marine influence, driven by the sun, is the determining factor in the temperature variances across this vast region. As the day progresses all areas experience a warming effect due to the sun. As the sun goes down, the region reverts to cooler temperatures quickly. Like guests at a vast coastal spa, this allows Monterey’s grapes to luxuriate in just­-right conditions. Superb soils. Warm sunshine. Cool ocean breezes. The result is a slow and leisurely ripening – up to 6O days longer than other wine growing regions.”

It’s early Sunday afternoon, it’s a cloudy and rainy day in Carmel Valley, California and we do a bit of group think:  what shall we do?

Simultaneously, a four-point counterpoint rose in the air:  Wine tasting!

As we were spending three nights at the Bernardus Lodge (our review), we figured we should make our first stop at the Bernardus Winery (pictured right).

We sampled Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, Marinus (a Bordeaux blend), and Pinot Noir.  Personally, we loved the Marinus and Pinot Noir.  In fact, we came home with a case full.  We’ve even got a special ’05 Marinus tucked away for a special day when this very website hits a particular benchmark.

Our second stop was Joullian vineyards.

We sampled Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Sauvignon Blanc and Semillon…plus Carmel Valley’s first Zinfandel.  We walked out with a nice stash of Zin!  YUM!

For our last stop, we dropped in to visit Talbott Vineyards.  There we sampled Chardonnay and Pinot Noir.  Guess what?  We walked out with a very nice Pinot Noir.

Although we limited our wine-tasting tour to three vineyards, the charming little town of Carmel Valley has many more tasting rooms to offer.  Here’s a wonderful on-line brochure complete with maps from the Carmel Valley Chamber of Commerce to guide you on your way.

Enjoy and don’t drink too much!  Smile

2 Responses to “Baby Boomers’ Travel Guide: Wine Tasting in Carmel Valley, California”
  1. Nick says:

    Thanks for sharing our Carmel Valley Guide with your readers. The 2011 guide will be published in Jan and ready for distribution soon there after. Thank you for your support of Carmel Valley and our local businesses. Nick Elliott – President/CVCC

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