May 26, 2014

Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Tasting Rooms 5-8

We know you have read all about the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea in a previous article and are just waiting to read about the all the tasting rooms prior to purchasing your Passport (purchase here) and planning your own personal Carmel Wine

In numerical order off the list we rolled up our sleeves and put our big boy pants on (don't drink without pants) and set about getting the scoop. We had started at the top and these are the second four... Here is a link to the First Four.

5. Silvestri Vineyards

As one enters this lovely tasting room it becomes quickly obvious that Alan Silvestri not only makes great wine but also makes wonderful music. Turning film from just a visual art form into an emotional one through music. His filmography which is shown on a screen in the tasting room is just awe inspiring.
Planted in 2000 and the first vintage in 2003 the vineyards are located approximately 15 miles from the Pacific Ocean up Carmel Valley. This location is the key element in the terroir of this unique site. Alan likens the winemaking style to the classic French wine farm tradition. This involves labor intensive hands on techniques such as 100% barrel fermentation for the Chardonnay and small open topped fermentors for the red varieties. They try to use traditional methods to allow the expression of the terroir while taking advantage of modern knowledge about wine fermentation and aging. With your passport you get to choose four of the seven lovely wines off their list of estate wines.
6. Dawns Dream Winery

Dawns is the new tasting room in town having only recently moved in from the Valley. Located behind the building on the NW Corner of 7th & San Carlos the Dawns Dream Winery tasting room is spacious and inviting. You can even take your picture in the iconic bath tub that features on the wine labels. Our tasting started off with Dawns lovely Chardonnay and then a Pinot Noir Rose and we never looked back. Next up there is the three Daughters. Dawn has named her wonderful Pinot Noir's after her three daughters. With all three having different personalities but all so lovely it is hard to find a clear favorite (talking about the wine, stay focused). Although only producing for five years Dawn has a very experienced wine maker crafting her wines and this shows clearly with awards stacking up fast. In fact every pinot they poured was awarded a gold in the Pinot Noir Summit and all Medaled at the San Francisco Wine Competition. We also found out they do a lovely cheese platter to keep your hunger at bay. With such a lovely setting and feel as well as many award winning wines this is a great choice for a stop on the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea.

7. Scheid Vineyards

Located just a block off of Ocean Avenue on the corner of San Carlos & 7th, this roomy Carmel Tasting Room has a nice inviting feel to taste an array of Scheid Vineyards wines. Scheid not only makes wine for their own labels but also for Napa and Paso Robles wineries labels as well. They change up the tasting flights every month so there is always something new to taste. For just a few dollars more you can upgrade your Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea passport to a Reserve tasting. The 2010 Reserve Cabernet Sauvignon alone may be worth the extra. You can also mix up your passport tasting to just whites or just reds giving great flexibility to create your own tasting. So head on in for the Estate flight of four Estate wines that show the diversity of Monterey.

8. Manzoni Cellars

The business, as it is today, began in 1990 when the family converted six acres of land to vine rootstock. In 1999, with the planting of imported clones, the Manzoni Family turned their family tradition into a full-time passion. As Mark Manzoni told us, "They believe that their stewardship of the land, their purposefully small yields, and their detailed attention to every aspect of production results in a more flavorful, better tasting selection to grace your table." Producing just 300 cases these are truly small production wines. Because their production is so small they can pick at the exact moment the small vineyard is ready and not worry about a big difference in ripeness like in larger vineyards.
With judicious use of new French oak these wines are subtle yet full flavored and are well worth trying.
This quaint little tasting room allows for the perfect spot to enjoy these wonderful wines in an intimate setting that often allows you to have your wine poured by and talk with Mark Manzoni himself. Located on San Carlos between Ocean and 7th in the Paseo Courtyard.

Another group worthy of your tasting choice!

Happy Wine Adventures,

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We are always on a WineWalkabout looking for a good drop. Please comment and ask questions about the things you like or would like to read and see. Don't drink without pants on!