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If you are a wine lover, and looking to learn about the great wines in the Carmel area, you should contact the Carmel Chamber of Commerce to obtain a package of passport flight vouchers that will enable you to visit any nine of the twelve tasting rooms in Carmel … your choice. The Wine Walk brochure provides a walking map to help you find your favorite wine tasting destinations.

This was such a fun experience because the people pouring in these rooms, some of them actual owners and some employee’s are so very knowledgeable and entertaining. Many of the rooms provide snacks or hors d’oeuvres to enjoy while you are sampling their many varietals. Below you will find some tasting and sipping suggestions you may want to try while on the Carmel wine walk.

Blair Pinot Gris

Blair Pinot Gris

I thoroughly enjoyed the silver haired cowboy who was serving Blair Estate and Shale Canyon wines just down the street from the Hofsas House Hotel, where I was staying. He knew these wines and was having the time of his life telling everyone about it. Meeting other tourists and locals in the tasting rooms is always an added attraction, and everyone loves to share their wine stories. This room is conveniently located across the street from Neilsen Bros Market, a great place to grab a delicious made-to-order sandwich and some fresh fruit to enjoy on the way to your next destination.

The staff pouring at Scheid Tasting Room are among my favorites because they gave enthusiastic descriptions of the wine being served and solid information regarding the growing of the grapes. I also found this room a surprise from an interior design point of view. It is laid out very well and artistically so eye appealing. Scheid is pouring a port that is sensational and their pinot and cabernet selections are also well worth a sip. This is the place to visit just before a bowl of potato leek soup with French bread at nearby Bistro Beaujolais.

Scheid Tasting Room Team

Scheid Tasting Room Team

Vino Napoli will take anyone back to their favorite places in Italy via the exquisite travel video running while patrons enjoy sips of their PEPE “Vesuvio” a blend of Cabernet, Merlot & Syrah. The room is Viva Italia all the way with with flags, photos and memorabilia. It’s a nice place to stop before or after an early dinner at Little Napoli.

Dawn’s Dream offers a feminine touch, and features a bath tub that is part of the advertising branding. I was told that wine lovers can do photo poses in the tub for laughs. Sips here can be enjoyed with chocolates served in tiny bath tub candy dishes. A nice prelude to Dawn’s sips be The Hogs Breath Inn. Wines being poured at Dawn’s include 2011 Pinot Nicole, 2009 Carneros Pinot Noir, 2011 Arroyo Seco Chardonnay, 2012 Arroyo Seco Chardonnay, 2009 Carneros Pinot Noir and 2011 Pinot Nicole.

Dawn's Dream Pinot

Dawn’s Dream Pinot

Silvestri Vineyards are now pouring 2012 Pinot Noir, 2012 Pinot Noir Rising Tide, 2012 Chardonnay, 2012 Chardonnay Bella Sandra, 2012 Chardonnay Due Bambine, 2012 Pinot Blanc, 2010 Syrah. Casanova Restaurant, one that claims to be home of Van Gogh’s table would be a nice choice before visiting this wonderful venue. Owner Alan Silvestri’s grandparents were winemakers in the Piedmont region of Italy, and the inspiration for him coming to Carmel to begin his own wine making business.

De Tierra Vineyard is a family-owned and operated winery producing handcrafted, award-winning wines from the Monterey County. They offer red, white, rose, dessert wine and also produce extra virgin olive oils. These wines would pair nicely with any cheese from The Cheese Shop in the Carmel Center. They include Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris, and Syrah. Guests in their adorable tasting room seemed very pleased with their Pinot Gris and Syrah.

De Tierra Tasting Room

De Tierra Tasting Room

Le St. Tropez might be an ideal stop over on your way to Figge Cellars. This is a charming wine tasting venue that specializes in Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Syrah. They handcraft five wines: two Chardonnays, two Pinot Noirs and a Syrah. Many people said that River Road Chardonnay was an obvious favorite.

Some of the great wines offered by Galante Vineyards include Wagon Wheel White 2013, Sauvignon Blanc 2012, Red Rose 1997, Olive Hill 2010, Merlot 2005. They welcome wine lovers to come experience the rustic elegance of Galante Vineyards, a 700-acre property nestled in the hills of sunny Carmel Valley. You might like to start or finish this one out with a few Spanish tapas from Mundaka Restaurant.

Wrath wines would be a win-win with YAFA Mediterranean Restaurantand a their wine tasting room pours site-driven Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Sauvignon Blanc from their estate vineyard in the Santa Lucia Highlands. Wrath wines are available for tasting and purchase at both the Carmel Tasting Room and the Winery Tasting Room.

Wrath-Tasting-Room-023-Gall

Wrath Tasting Room

The cost for the Wine Walk Passport for visits to nine of the twelve tasting rooms is $65.00, and is a bargain at this price. You will find that many of the tasting rooms you visit offer wine club memberships that represent a great savings when buying wines. For information visit: www.carmerchamber.com.

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By Bonnie Carroll
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