With vineyards dating back to the 1800s, Carmel Valley is a rugged, rustic region west of Monterey and Pebble Beach. Carmel Valley received its designation as an AVA in 1983 and encompasses more than 19,000 acres, with 300 acres of wine grapes under cultivation. The vineyards are predominantly within Carmel Valley and Cacahgua Valley. Cachagua Valley’s unique mountainous setting sits high above the fog-line along the coast and exposes the grapes to a warmer overall climate. Average summer temperatures can reach into the 100’s with cool evenings dropping into the low 30’s and 40’s. This dramatic swing in temperature extends the ripening time and growing season, allowing the grapes a slow maturation process for eventual complexity in the fruit and the wine. The vineyards in the Carmel Valley AVA are planted mostly on mountainous terrain, with the highly prized San Andreas Fine Sandy Loam and the Arroyo Seco Gravelly Sandy Loam soils being predominant. This type of soil provides ideal drainage and allows for optimal airflow through the root system. It requires minimal amounts of supplemental irrigation by the grower and results in healthy, vibrant grapes. The Carmel Valley’s terrain and climate is ideal for creating rich, full bodied wines; the Bordeaux varietals are favorites here, with Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot comprising more than 70% of the grapes grown in the district. In addition, new vineyards in the Carmel Valley are utilizing the numerous micro-climate within the AVA to plant Burgundian varietals.

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Widely traveled and endowed with impeccable taste, Ben Pon could have chosen anywhere in the world to establish his namesake Bernardus Winery, with the intention of cultivating premier class wines. He selected Carmel Valley, with its west-facing…

1983 was the beginning of our journey that led us from San Francisco to Big Sur. It’s a classic story of city folks with a hankering to raise a few kids and live off the land in one of the most beautiful spots on earth. On a small parcel of land, on…

Cima Collina crafts artisan wines from hand-selected fruit grown in small Monterey County vineyards. Started in 2004 by owner Richard Lumpkin and Napa-trained winemaker Annette Hoff Danzer, the pair shares a belief in the region’s ability to produce…

We approach wine differently. It starts with the name: Figge (“Fig-E”) doesn’t exactly say corporate, mass-marketed mega wine in vogue these days. That’s just not us. And our name, like our wine, is about one thing: Authenticity. Figge is the…

Nestled in beautiful Carmel, California, just 5 miles from the Pacific Ocean, is Monterey’s most unique winery destination. Situated on 15 acres of sustainably-farmed vineyards and gardens along the Carmel River, Folktale Winery is an idyllic…

Tucked away in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley, historic Holman Ranch provides a unique and memorable setting for weddings, special events, family gatherings, corporate retreats, and team-building events. With its charming gardens, stunning…

Jarman Fearing Lowder grew up in Chattanooga, Tenn., and lived up to being voted “best all around” in high school. She earned a nursing degree, worked as an R.N. and raised three daughters with her husband Thomas. An active volunteer, animal lover,…

Joyce Vineyards has been a life long partnership between father and son Francis and Russell Joyce. It began when Francis followed his passion by pirating several European cuttings in the early 1980’s and planting on his small property in the sub…

In 1982, Robb Talbott began planting his original Diamond T Estate vineyard on a cold, windswept mountaintop in Carmel Valley. Conventional wisdom was against him, and many said the steep, exposed site with its massive shale boulders was “too cold,”…

Testarossa Winery, makers of premier California Chardonnay and Pinot Noir, recently opened a new tasting room in Carmel Valley. Testarossa specializes in producing small-lot, hand crafted wines from California’s most sought after vineyards for…

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