Where the Vines Meet the Ocean Breeze
“Where the vines meet ocean winds. Where the foothills meet the valley. Where a tranquil state of mind meets the artisan style. This is Carmel Road Winery.”
There is more to America than Fame, Celebrities and Hollywood, it has a few hidden secrets and gems that need to be explored and Carmel Road Winery is one of them.
Carmel Road established in 1999 by the Jackson family with Kriss Kato as their winemaker and they wanted to create expressive wines with personality.
The 415 acre panoramic Vineyard has the Gablian Mountains on the east side and the Santa Lucia Mountains on the West with the vineyard being on the lower slopes of the valley floor.
The vineyards are split between Rincon, Clark and Hacienda to capture the nuances of characteristics that bring their wines to life.
The climate in the area is a great one for growing grapes as it is hot in the day, which ripens the fruit and cold at night, perfect for the vines, which if not for the Monterey Bay breezes, would be insufficient in ideal terms.
Nestled in the historic Pine Inn Courtyard among the Monterey Vineyards in Monterey Salina’s Valley midway between Los Angeles and San Francisco, located on a bench in the Arroyo Seco AVA, is the largest, single high density planting of Pinot Noir in America.
The Blue Grand Canyon affects the climate here and is situated below the 60 mile long and 10000 feet deep Monterey Bay, which creates fog and winds that are perfect for growing Burgundian varieties as the weather sweeps through the valley each day.
What You Can Enjoy from the Vines
Three varietals are produced at Carmel Road; Pinot Noir, Chardonnay and Riesling.
Actress Drew Barrymore joined forces with the Jackson family and created a wine that could be enjoyed with friends and family whilst sitting at a table.
This wine is the Pinot Grigio and thanks to the ancient rocks in the vineyard, the wet stone minerality is ideal for the production of this wine and you can taste the Asian pear and honeydew melon flavours that are complimented by the stone.
It is a crisp and clear wine with lemon drops to add into the taste.
First Row Pinot Noir is named after it being located in the first row protecting the other vines.
It has aromas of black cherries and backing spice, grown in a single vineyard block on the sloping valley floor.
North Crest Pinot Noir has dark purple hues and stands out with its variety of aromas being of oak, mocha, blackberries and blueberries.
South Crest Pinot Noir is from the south facing slopes and has blueberry, watermelon, dark cherry and fruit characteristics.
For the love of Pinot Noir, this is one of those who are fans.
Panaroma Pinot Noir is an earthy wine and this can be tasted with the hints of mushroom and spices.
It has a velvety finish and the Monterey acidity highlights the flavours of the strawberry and raspberry families.
Drew’s Blend Pinot Noir is a subtle wine with hints of spice and tobacco.
The vibrant and lively wine has the aromas of red fruits.
Monterey Pinot Noir is so much in one bottle with the hint of vanilla, toasty and smoke oats as well as black cherry and currants.
On your palate it has the rich, red and fruity feel to it.
Pinot Noir created at Carmel Road Winery has an interesting back story of flavour with the hints of pomegranate, cherry pie filling, rhubarb, dusty brown spices, and all of them accented by Smokey oak on top of the aromas and flavours you will find in each individual wine.
Now onto the Chardonnay; this wine is said to be so rich that it does not need oak and therefore is created with a slight acidity level.
The flavours are nectarine and peaches with honey- dew sweetness and a dry finish. You can also sense guava, golden apricot, mango and tangerine.
Unoaked Riesling with its ripe fruity flavours is an acidic wine with hints of white flowers, apricots, papayas and limes.
Visit Carmel Road
Carmel Road is an incredibly beautiful looking place to visit and you could feel as though you are escaping to another world with Canyons, Bays, Vineyards and mountains to explore before you have even tasted the wine.
The wines are a great selection for a light lunch, but with the fruity flavours and sea air it might go straight to your head which would encourage you to stay for longer than a day.
As for the wine, with weather conditions being too hot to grow vines saved by the breeze of the maritime climate, it is lucky that there is wine here to taste.
A big thanks to Mother Nature, the San Andreas belt for ruffling the soil and to the winemakers for the enthusiastic creation of fun, adventurous and crispy clear wine.
Carmel Road Winery
37300 Doud Rd # D
93960 Soledad, California, United States
Michael is an online enthusiast, with a lot of knowledge about online marketing. Traveling around the world to hunt for the perfect wine. Latest on Sicily, where Etna has a huge impact on the taste, which is strong with a bitter aftertaste for the youngest wines, but older wines are fantastic. Drinking wine, and writing about them, are one the passions. Remember to drink responsibly 🙂