With the grand opening of Holman Ranch Vineyards tasting room in Carmel Valley, four superb family-owned, small-batch boutique wineries—Joyce, Parsonage and Chesebro—now make up a bona fide wine-tasting destination a modest shuttle ride from Tradewinds.
And those four standout artisan wineries occupy just one tiny retail strip on the edge of town. The wider hamlet—though it remains a quaint and rural unincorporated place with more red-tailed hawks than stoplights—is dripping with decorated wine venues, including Boete, Carmel Hills, Chateau Julien, Joullian, Bernardus, Heller and Talbott.
Chock Rock also calls Carmel Valley home, and hosts some of the highlights of the Monterey County wine world this winter season. In January, wine maker Dan Karlson will entertain an open house at Chock Rock’s tasting room. Attendees will be able to taste some of the winery’s incredible selections while listening to the flavorful explanations of the man himself. We can look forward to star gazing at the vineyard in February. For those that don’t know, the Chock Rock vineyard is located at mile 35 on Carmel Valley Road, just past Tassajara. The complete lack of light pollution makes it perfect for celestial staring.
Meanwhile, back in Carmel-by-the-Sea proper, a similar surge in tasting rooms is taking place, with no fewer than seven different rooms proliferating in art galleries, restaurants and stand-alone spaces.
The Cheese Shop is loaded with almost as many nice wines as incredible cheeses. Tudor Wines has a premium partnership with Andre’s Bouchee. Cima Collina, Caraccioli Cellars, Figge and Galante all do excellent locally nourished grape juice, all within a few blocks of one another and Tradewinds’ ocean view sanctuary.
That constellation of tasty places makes for a goal on their own—or pairs beautifully with a stroll on Carmel’s white sand beaches, a bite in the delectable restaurants and, yes, post-holiday shopping.
Tradewinds’ fresh orchids and Jacuzzi bathtubs await you upon your return.
As a side note, San Francisco’s ABC 7 recently did a great piece on the wines of Monterey County. Here is the video.