We opened our new tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea in late July 2014, and are thrilled to now be involved in winemaking in two prestigious appellations: Monterey and the Santa Cruz Mountains.
Our tasting room is in a flower-bedecked courtyard, and is comfortable and cozy, decorated in the unique Carmel rustic style. As you may know, downtown Carmel does not have addresses; we are located between Dolores and Lincoln, and 5th and 6th, in the Su Vecino Court, across from the Jack London pub.
We are open in Carmel every day except Wednesday. Hours are M, Tues, Thurs, 2-6pm; and Fri, Sat & Sun, noon to 7pm.
A little history of our journey to Carmel: The year 2011 was notoriously stingy in yield, not just for us, but all over the state—the quality was there for us, but not the quantity. We worried that if we had another year of such low yields, we could not financially depend solely on our estate grapes, so we researched, and found good sources for our Picnic Whites, and our new Night Owl Red: two sauvignon blancs, a pinot gris, an unoaked chardonnay; and the Rhone blend: grenache, mourvedre, and syrah. During the past two years, as Jim made connections with these growers, he also made connections with other Monterey appellation growers, and has now cemented some great relationships, with legendary names such as Chalone, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco.
The Monterey appellation is directly southeast of our home vineyard, and encompasses some 44,000 vineyard acres (in contrast, the Santa Cruz Mountains appellation is just 1,500 acres, and Napa is about 45,000). It begins in the mountains of the Santa Lucia Range, and goes east and south, with many variations in terroir. Jim loves the new challenge, and has spent many happy days roaming the vineyards of this vast appellation, looking at vineyards, talking with growers, and finding the best possible grapes for our production.
Coincidental to all this, our eldest son James, decided earlier this year that he would like to join the family business, but more on the marketing side rather than the production side. This, together with the additional wine we’re producing from Monterey appellations, gave us the idea of perhaps opening a remote full time tasting room in the Monterey area, with James as the manager. We decided that the small town of Carmel-by-the-Sea had much of what we were looking for in a tasting room: a concentrated downtown with discerning, year round, wine-loving tourists from everywhere.