Kamis, 22 Oktober 2020

Carmel-By-The-Sea: The perfect weekend wine escape - San Francisco Chronicle


Lined with cobblestone streets and storybook cottages tucked under cypress trees, Carmel-by-the-Sea twinkles with the quaint kind of charm that makes it a landing spot for honeymooners, retirees and tourists. It’s also now a destination for wine tasting, with more than a dozen tasting rooms within walking distance of one another. Many are tucked into the secret courtyards within many of the small city’s blocks.

Don’t expect any commercial wineries within this seaside hamlet. The focus is on Monterey County, particularly the Santa Lucia Highlands and Arroyo Seco, with occasional influence from the Santa Cruz Mountains and elsewhere.

As one would expect from a tourist town, there are abundant options for lodging and activities at different price points, and the food scene is particularly interesting. Lately, the buzz has been about 7th & Dolores, a surf-and-turf restaurant as sophisticated as any you’ll find in San Francisco. –Matt Kettmann

1. Taste Morgan

After starting his eponymous winery more than 35 years ago, Dan Morgan Lee still produces wines high-quality wines.  In 1996 and 2003, The San Francisco Chronicle named it Winery of the Year, and in 2005, Lee introduced a second wine label that explored alternative varietals. The wines, themselves, range from the Cote du Crow Rhone red blend to Albarino.

2. Hahn — Carmel

Nicolaus “Nicky” Hahn, who struck it rich in international finance, snapped up vineyards in Monterey County but quickly learned the region’s reputation was lukewarm. Today, each vintage of the Hahn SLH series of Pinot Noir and Chardonnay is designed to showcase the Santa Lucia Highlands. The Hahn Carmel-by-the-Sea tasting room gives off a sleek, urban feel, with redwood paneled walls, flashy metal lighting and modernist photographs of wine-growing and winemaking. Their new sparkling wine project is worth trying, if available.
3. Scheid Vineyards

Al Sheid was an investment banker who used wine grapes as a tax shelter. Now, the winery has about 4,300 acres of grapes along the Salinas Valley. The family started its own label in the early ’90s, and the Pinot Noir and Chardonnay remain popular varieties. Of the 30 wines Scheid makes, there’s something for every palate — from zippy Gewurztraminer to rich red blends. Flights here change every four to six weeks and are organized by white or red, but you’ll be able to mix them if you ask nicely.
4. Scratch Wines

If you want to know what a female powerhouse in the wine industry looks like, look no further. Monterey County’s well-known winemaker Sabrine Rodems is the face behind the brand, which focuses on small batches of Riesling, Grenache, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon. Because Scratch doesn’t make a lot of wines, you’ll often taste everything in the current lineup. Try it all.

5. Caraccioli

Sparkling wine is the core of this four-generation operation. At the tasting room, nestled on Dolores Street, sample a flight of bubbles as you view works from well-known artists and listen to the crashing Pacific waves.

6. Albatross Ridge

The winery recently moved its tasting room to a different location in Carmel-by-the-Sea location. The father-son team of Brad and Garrett Bowlus produces stunning quality Pinot Noirs and Chardonnays. The zesty pink sparkler Petillant Naturel is also worth a try.

The Link Lonk

October 23, 2020 at 05:58AM

Carmel-By-The-Sea: The perfect weekend wine escape - San Francisco Chronicle



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