Monterey Bay Wine by mcweekly



monterey county wines from albariño to zinfandel

alifornia was a late addition to the world of winemaking, to say the least. When Spanish monks planted the first California varieties of Vitis vinifera, the famous Bordeaux region of France had already been exporting wine to most of the world for 600 years. But the Europeans’ head start has all but vanished. At the 1976 Judgment of Paris, an international wine competition, Californian wines beat out their French counterparts in both the red and white categories. Today, California features more than 1,200 wineries, whose combined annual crop represents 90 percent of American wine production. Monterey County has had a lot to do with California’s emergence as the western hemisphere’s pre-eminent wine region. Although the first vines weren’t planted here until the 1960s, the unbridled success of pioneers like Chalone, Wente, and Mirassou ultimately led to the 40,000 acres of grapes planted here. Today Monterey County continues to establish itself as one of the premier wine-growing regions in the country, if not the world. Within Monterey County are seven different certified American Viticultural Areas, most notably Carmel Valley and the Santa Lucia Highlands. From the wet and cool air of the coastal regions to the dry and warm climate of the rocky southern areas, Monterey County encompasses a diverse range of microclimates which create near-perfect conditions for every varietal and style. The area’s mainstays--folks like Doug Meador of Ventana, Rich Smith of Paraiso, Rob Talbott of Talbott Vineyards, and others--revised and fine-tuned the science of growing grapes in these various sub-regions. They’re joined by great boutique wines like Chateau Christina, Marilyn Remark, Parsonage, Pisoni, and Sheldon. And of course there are always the regional standard-bearers Chalone, Galante, Hahn/Smith and Hook, Joullian and Georis. From the southernmost tip of the county near Paso Robles to the inland hideaways of the Carmel Valley, great wines materialize from magical soil everywhere in this wine wonderland.

www . bestofmontereybay. com

The BesT of MonTerey Bay 2008 • 2009



wineries & tasting rooms
Bargetto Winery tasting room
Bargetto operates Monterey’s oldest tasting room and has garnered high praise from oenophiles for its full line of dinner and specialty dessert wines. Call for tour information. 700 Cannery Row, Suite L, Monterey. 373-4053.

and Cabernet since he decided to scale back his dentistry practice and ramp up his winery. Limited production, mostly local distribution and great quality have distinguished Chateau Christina for the past few years. 60 Via Milpitas, Carmel Valley. 659-0312.

BayWood Cellars
Winemaker John Cotta has more than 20 years of experience producing wine in California. His knowledge of Old World techniques combined with up-to-date winemaking technology give Baywood Cellars the bottling capacity of up to 150 bottles per minute. Tastings daily. 381 Cannery Row, Suite C, Monterey. 645-9035.

Chateau Julien
Beautiful stained glass and antiques adorn Chateau Julien’s winetasting room. Built in the style of a French country chateau, the building’s great hall with its cathedral ceiling adds a touch of elegance. Tastings daily, tours by reservation only. 8940 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 624-2600.

Bernardus Winery
Bernardus’ wine-tasting room is located in the heart of Carmel Valley Village. Beautiful color photographs of its upper Carmel Valley vineyard and winery adorn the walls. All the vintage wines sell out quickly. Tastings daily. 5 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, 659-1900.

Cima Collina
Cima Collina’s handcrafted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot are on pour at this art gallery and wine-tasting bar in downtown Carmel. Most of the wines originate on three Salinas Valley vineyards. Open Thurs-Mon. San Carlos between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel. 620-0645.

BlaCkstone Winery
This Monterey County tasting room encourages visitors to picnic on the grounds as they enjoy a bottle of limited-release wine. The winery hosts tours and events and even offers a private VIP dining room. 800 S. Alta St., Gonzales, 675-5341.

Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, (800) 625-8466.

Joullian Vineyards
This small, high-quality producer in the classical Joseph de Maria stone building specializes in estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Tastings daily, tours by appointment. 2 Village Dr., Suite A, Carmel Valley. 659-8100.

The lime-enriched soil of John and Jana Saunders’ Carmel Valley vineyard yields Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs of notable complexity and minerality. A terroirseeker’s dream. Tastings Thurs-Sun. Valley Hills Center, 7156A Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 625-5040.

galante Vineyards
Vineyards, thousands of roses and grazing cattle make Galante’s 700-acre property a great place to have a picnic or hold an event. Their tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea offers a chance to taste the very limited estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Tastings daily. Dolores between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 624-3800.

loCkWood Vineyards
Located at the southernmost tip of Monterey County in San Lucas, Lockwood Vineyards produces some notable wines, including its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offerings. Sample Lockwood wines at either of the Taste of Monterey sites (see below), or call (800) 753-1424 for other locations.

Chalone Vineyard
This rustic and isolated winery is set high above the Salinas Valley, affording views of the Gabilan Mountains and the vineyards. Recommended wines: Chardonnay, Pinot Blanc, Pinot Noir, Chenin Blanc. Tastings on Saturday and Sunday and by appointment Mon-Fri. Stonewall Canyon and Highway 146, Soledad. 678-1717.

georis Winery
Georis’ relaxing Carmel Valley tasting room and shady courtyard offer intriguing vintages, fine furniture and an irresistible array of books and gifts. 4 Pilot Rd., Carmel Valley. 659-1050.

heller estates
Heller Estates Vineyards offers award-winning organic estate-bottled Cabernet, as well as Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Heller is truly a local wine—its grapes are grown in the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley. Try the Chenin Blanc. Tastings daily. 69 W.
www . bestofmontereybay. com

manzoni estate Vineyard
Low-yield production techniques translate to well-regarded, fruit-intensive Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Syrah. The new tasting room is open on weekends. 3.5 miles south of Gonzales on River Rd., Salinas. 675-3398.

Chateau Christina
Frank Joyce has been hand-making small batches of the area’s best Pinot Noir, Merlot


the Best of monterey Bay 2008 • 2009


MarILyn reMarK
Following a trip to France, Joel Burnstein and his wife, Marilyn Remark, decided to try their hand at creating some of California’s best Rhone-style wines. Expertly crafted Marsanne, Roussanne, Rose, Grenache and Syrah wines are the attention-getting result. Tasting room open weekends only. 645 River Rd., Salinas. 455-9310.

ParaIso VIneyarDs
The Smith family, led by Richard, has been on the Monterey County wine scene for more than three decades. Home to one of the most picturesque and profound wine properties in the revered Santa Lucia Highlands, Paraiso, under current winemaker David Fleming (Rich’s son-in-law), continues to turn out top-quality Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Syrah and Riesling. 38060 Paraiso Springs Rd., off River Rd., Soledad. 678-0300.

ParsonaGe VILLaGe VIneyarD
Bill and Mary Ellen Parsons produce their estate-grown Cabernets, Syrahs and Merlots from nine acres of prime sun-drenched Carmel Valley land. The result is wines of exceptional flavor and intensity. Their newly opened tasting room also showcases textile art by Mary Ellen. 19 E. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 659-2215.

Stephen Pessagno’s acclaimed wines are grown in Monterey and neighboring San Benito counties. Look for the Sleepy Hollow Vineyard Chardonnay and the Garys’ Vineyard Pinot Noir, both grown in the Santa Lucia appellation. Pessagno’s port is excellent, too. Tastings FriSun. 1645 River Rd., Salinas. 675-9463.

san saBa
Nestled in the Santa Lucia Highlands, San Saba Vineyards has been making awardwinning Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon wines in limited quantities since 1981. San Saba wines are known to be complex and distinctive. Second label Bocage uses only estate-grown grapes and has a fresh, easy-to-drink style. Tastings daily at 35801 Foothill Rd., at River Rd., Soledad. 678-2992.

sCheID VIneyarDs
Since 1972, the Scheid family has grown premium wine grapes and produced superb Chardonnay, Riesling, Merlot and Cabernet Sauvignon. These wines exemplify the best marriage of land, climate and wine-making expertise. Tours by appointment. 1972 Hobson Ave., Greenfield. 386-0316.
www . bestofmontereybay. com

The BesT of MonTerey Bay 2008 • 2009


To Santa Cruz To San Jose/San Francisco

Silver Mountain

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Silver Mountain
Established in 1979, Silver Mountain Vineyards produces robust and complex worldclass wines from organic grapes. The tasting room near the Monterey Plaza Hotel offers all current releases and contains a gallery of artwork, as well as a collection of antique silver. Tasting daily. 381 Cannery Row, Monterey. 644-9609.


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Marilyn Remark

Bernardus Heller Estates Talbott

Chualar River Rd.

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SMith & hook/hahn eStateS
Two prime local wineries offer their vino in an elegant wine tasting room. Sample excellent wines while enjoying beautiful views of the Salinas Valley. Smith & Hook’s Cabernets are hearty and delicious. Tastings daily, tours by appointment. 37700 Foothill Rd., Soledad. 678-2132.

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Narrow road, lots of turns. Allow 1 hr.



San Saba Hahn Estates

talbott vineyard

Smith & Hook Paraiso

Soledad • Chalone

Its winery is tucked away in the far-off Santa Lucia Highlands, so Talbott opened its first local tasting room in March of 1999. Antiques and gift items are for sale, and small parties can be accommodated. Tastings daily. 53 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley. 659-3500.

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taSte Morgan
Daniel Morgan Lee has built Morgan Vineyards into an area favorite through the consistent quality of their solid lineup of Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. At their tasting room in Carmel, vinophiles can sample the offerings from the renowned Double L and Rosella’s Vineyards. Tastings Thur-Sun. 204 Crossroads Blvd., Carmel. 626-3700.

vineyards and wineries

Los Padres National Forest

• Greenfield

ventana vineyardS

• King City

monterey county


• San Lucas

Located in an old stone ranch house just minutes from downtown Monterey, the Ventana tasting room offers a full selection of awardwinning wines. Recommended: Gold Medal Chardonnays and Rieslings, award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. 2999 Highway 68, Monterey. 372-7415.

WineS of CarMel
Paul Stokes and Lynn Sakasegawa, the husband-and-wife team behind Wines of Carmel, make Chardonnay and Cabernet grown on their property high in the hills above Carmel Valley. Small production, careful techniques and a lot of love go into this truly local wine. Tasting room locations in Monterey, Carmel and Salinas. For information, call 659-0750.

Grapevine Express runs daily 11am-8pm Monterey to Carmel Valley Village.
www . bestofmontereybay. com


the beSt of Monterey bay 2008 • 2009

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wine merchants
This wine visitors’ center pours selections from more than 70 local wineries. Visitors may choose from two tastings featuring 15 different wines each day, and 200 different Monterey County wines are for sale. A good starting point for a wine tour of Monterey County. Tour information, maps and brochures available. 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, 646-5446; 127 Main St., Oldtown Salinas, 751-1980.

This tour company offers guided tours of the Salinas and Carmel valleys highlighting the county’s rich agricultural and winemaking legacy. Tours specialize in wine tasting, agricultural education and local history. Full-day tours include a picnic lunch, wine-tasting fees, and transportation. 761-8463.

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Voted Best Local Red Wine of Monterey County Monterey County Weekly, “Best Of ”

Pessagno Pinot Noir
“Th Mo A r Wi ning Singl Vi ey r in America”
has two tasting rooms to experience award winning wines from the Ventana estate. 38740 Los Coches Road Soledad, CA 93960 831-678-2900 • fax 831-678-2122 Visit our web site for directions 11AM -5PM • Weekends and most Holidays o i

Bernardus Chardonnay


This shop sells a variety of local and regional wines as well as world vintages. In addition to daily wine tastings, it also features fine Italian and Spanish olive oils and vinegars. 3606 The Barnyard, Suite A13, Carmel. 625-4457.

2999 Monterey Salinas Hwy (Hwy 68 E) #10 Monterey, CA 93940 831-372-7415 • fax 831-375-0797 11am-5pm daily (Oct-May) 11am-6pm (June-Sept)
5 mins from downtown Monterey



Fi e Wines F o A
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A wine store with an excellent inventory of premium wines, Monte Vista offers delivery services, as well as discounted prices on cases of wine. 19 Soledad Dr., Monterey. 375-2135.

D o r a O rW C

This full-service liquor and wine store, located in downtown Pacific Grove, delivers in the local area. Call for details. 225 Grand Ave., Pacific Grove. 375-7474.

315 Calle Principal, Downtown Monterey, (831)333-1313 Visit our website - Large Selection

Located in Historic Old Monterey on the Corner of Del Monte & Calle Principal



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Marc Jacobs Collection Miu Miu

Open Daily 10–6 Mission & 7th Avenue Carmel ~ 626-3368


Rancho Cellars, located near The Barnyard shopping center, is a fine-wine merchant stocked with more than 1,600 premium wines from around the world. Rancho’s wine-tasting bar, Cepage, offers weekly tasting events. 26340 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Carmel. 625-5646.

A local institution, “Carmel’s Finest Liquor and Wine Shop” offers friendly assistance navigating a respectable inventory of premium wines. Sixth and Junipero, Carmel. 624-1805.

This purveyor of fine and rare wines from around the world is located in the heart of downtown Monterey and boasts a knowledgeable, approachable staff. 315 Calle Principal, Monterey. 333-1313.

levels. 241 Alvarado St., next to the Portola Plaza Hotel, Monterey. 641-WINE.

pairing experience. 192 Country Club Gate Center, Pacific Grove. 646-0107.

The wines are arranged and displayed not by varietal but by the type of food with which they are compatible—beef, seafood, dessert, etc. Whatever your menu, Wine Market offers a range of appropriate choices established through more than a decade of food and wine

Specializing in Monterey County wines, this laid-back shop at the edge of Salinas hosts daily tastings and holds regular events with guest winemakers. 1366 South Main St., Salinas. 757-3947.

This owner-run store removes the intimidation factor from wine by offering a down-toearth tasting room designed to suit all comfort

It is the grapes.

Scheid Vineyards produces small lot, artisan wines from our ten estate vineyards in the heart of Monterey County wine country. Visit our tasting rooms to enjoy our expansive portfolio of award-winners.
Join us at our new Cannery Row location debuting Fall 2008. 831 455-9990 Tasting Room 1972 Hobson Avenue, Greenfield (at Hwy. 101 and Hobson Ave.) Ph 831 386-0316 11 a.m. to 5 p.m. daily




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