Best of Monterey Bay® Visitors Guide

112 The Best of Monterey Bay ® 2023-2024 Carmel Albatross Ridge They’re committed to Monterey County’s most successful grapes here, with three Pinot Noir styles—and don’t worry, they do Chardonnay too. Dolores Street between Ocean and 6th, Carmel. Blair Estate A showcase of the Arroyo Seco AVA and the wonders of Pinot Noir. They make an impressive Chardonnay, as well. Mission and Ocean (Carmel Plaza), Carmel. (831) 625-9463, Caraccioli Cellars Caraccioli delivers unique still and sparkling wines (some of this country’s best, by the way) using the singular Santa Lucia Highlands fruit to produce small quantities of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay, and also méthode champenoise Brut and Brut Rosé. Dolores between Ocean and 7th, Carmel. (831) 622-7722, Dawn’s Dream Winery Dawn’s Dream borrows from decades of experience over at sibling vineyard Galante to produce Sauv Blanc, Chardonnay, a range of Pinots and much loved Rosé for those valley sunsets. 7th and San Carlos, Carmel. (831) 659-2649, De Tierra Vineyards The winery’s estate vineyard is 100-percent organic and the crew uses sustainable farming practices to grow several varieties, including Riesling and Cab Franc. And Pinot, of course. They also have a history of hosting trivia night and other games. Mission and 5th, Carmel. (831) 622-9704, Galante Vineyards Wines are 100-percent estate-grown. The tasting room in Carmel offers winners like the very limited-estate Cabernet Sauvignon plus Sauv Blanc, Petite Sirah and Malbec. Dolores between Ocean and 7th, Carmel; tours of the Cachagua winery are also available by appointment. (831) 624-3800, Hahn Estate Tasting from Hahn’s lineup is an experience, and they treat it as such. They showcase estate wines expressive of the Santa Lucia Highlands’ terroir. At the Salinas Valley winery location, bring a picnic, relax on the deck and enjoy the sweeping view—and of course, the wine. Ocean and Mission, Carmel. (831) 2507937, It’s easy to find stellar Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Rosé and sparkling wines from the AVAs of Monterey County. But there are over 50 varietals that thrive in the local hills and valleys, and many vintners are taking advantage of the micro-terroirs and the grapes that do well in those soils, such as Arneis, Valdigue and Vermintino. The deep ocean canyon in Monterey Bay sends cooling fog through the region. Valley floors and rugged mountains create microclimates and soil suited for grapes that struggle elsewhere. There are vineyards that have been producing standout wines for more than a century. Chalone Vineyard, for instance, was established in the early 1900s and was granted its own AVA. Although the county didn’t truly emerge as a wine destination until the 1970s, there are now more than 60 tasting rooms here, and all are well worth exploring. wine Scheid Family Vineyards