Wine Tasting in Carmel Valley, California

Carmel Valley, California – Well, it’s another rainy day on our 10-Day Coastal California road trip.

So, what’s a body to do?

Wine tasting of course!

Here’s Carol with our Michigan friends Bob & Karen Schroeder as we sample the delicious wines at Bernardus Winery.

In this photograph we were sampling their Chardonnay, but we really liked the 2004 Bernardus Marinus red blend.  YUM!

I didn’t realize that Monterey county had such a wonderful wine region.  Check this out from the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association:

“Monterey Wine Country boasts over 175 unique vineyards. Winegrowing mostly takes place in a 90-mile-long valley, with only eight primary viticulture soil types. The northernmost areas of Monterey, deemed as on the edge of being too cold to grow winegrapes, are held in high esteem for their exceptional production of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. Yet, the valley experiences a “thermal rainbow™” spreading north-to-south, cold to warm, providing diverse ever-warming micro-climates supporting forty-two fine wine varietals.

Within the world-class designation of Monterey County, the region has nine American Viticultural Areas (AVAs) that have been identified as truly one-of-a-kind winegrowing districts: Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco, San Lucas, Hames Valley, Chalone, Carmel Valley, San Antonio Valley, and San Bernabe. These areas are referred to as “appellations” which is a term that identifies the winegrape’s place of origin.

Ancestors from over two hundred years ago knew that the Monterey Wine Country region had the potential for growing amazing grapes. There is a lot of rich vineyard history that dates back to the Franciscan friars. At the Spanish mission in Soledad, friars planted the first crop of wine grapes. Those vines withered and, sadly, no trace remains today of what was to become of this important region.

Rediscovered in the ’60’s – It was not until the early 1960’s that the full potential of Monterey County, as a wine-producing region, began. In 1960 Professor A.J. Winkler, a viticultural authority from the University of California at Davis, published a report classifying grape growing districts by climate. Monterey County was classified as Region I and II, comparable with the premium regions of Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy and Bordeaux.”

Who knew that this area was classified and comparable with the premium regions of Napa Valley.  I sure didn’t.

If you really want to impress your oenophile friends, you can find some very interesting facts about Monterey County wines here, and here.

3 Responses to “Wine Tasting in Carmel Valley, California”
  1. Karen says:

    I didn’t realize how tipsy I was until I saw this photo. Glad you were driving!

  2. Karen says:

    I didn’t realize how tipsy I was until I saw this photo. Glad you were driving!

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