01 Dec Wine Tasting in Carmel!
Carmel is known for its beaches, food and art galleries. But Carmel (and the adjacent town Monterey) is also home to many vine yards, wineries and tasting rooms. That is why we went wine tasting in Carmel when we enjoyed a lovely getaway last weekend! Ag Venture Tours & Consulting is the best and oldest guided tour company in the area and is Central California’s leader in educational tours since 1997. With this tour company you visit either the Monterey Wine Country (including Carmel Valley and Salinas Valley) or the Santa Cruz Mountains. We did our wine tasting in the Carmel Valley. Our tour started when Evan, who was the tour guide, picked us up from our hotel. While he was driving, he passionately talked about the area, the grapes, the wines and the places we passed. Our first stop was the vine yard of Bernardus, where he elaborated about the history of winemaking and gave a little agricultural education in the most fun way. That is why this tour was not only a wine tasting, but an entire experience.
Wine tasting in Carmel
Evan from Ag Venture Tours is fun and very knowledgeable about the history and vegetation of the area. It all started when the Spanish immigrants came to California in the end of the 18th century. They planted the little cuttings that they had brought from the grapevines in Spain, into the hills of Carmel and Monterey. The Californian weather was great for growing grapes as it was similar to that in Tuscany. At that time, the wine was only for the priests. But when the Italian people came in the mid 1800, during the gold rush, wine became widely available to the public. When we think of making wine, we have to make a distinction between vineyards, wineries and tasting rooms. It all starts at the vine yards, where they grow the grapes. At the wineries they make the wine and in the tasting rooms, you can taste (and buy) the bottles. We visited one vineyard and three tasting rooms: Joullian, Bernardus and Parsonage. Since Evan is a degreed winery consultant, he elaborated about the wine and winemaking at all levels and was very specific about which wines we should taste in the tasting rooms. That is why I know for sure that we tasted the best wines of Carmel!
A happy kid in the vineyards of Bernardus.
After our visit to the vineyards, we went to the tasting rooms.
We started at Joullian, located at the entrance to Carmel Valley Village.
We tried five different wines in the very charming tasting room and my favourite was their muscat that is estate grown, produced and bottled by Joullian!
The second tasting room was Bernardus, which is owned by a Dutch family, Pon.
Their rose is amazing. But Bernardus’ Chardonnay is widely recognised as the quintessential Chardonnay from the California Central Coast. So happy that we took a bottle back home with us!
The last tasting room we visited was Parsonage, a boutique, family-run vineyard and winery located in the heart of Carmel Valley.
Parsonage produces big, bold, red wines at a small scale.
I carefully thought about what to wear to this amazing wine tasting experience. I wanted something fun, chic and easy going. I therefore opted for my favourite denim from Abercrombie and my glitter Unisa sneakers. The bag is a new beauty in my collection. I love the clean shape and the high quality leather without any fringes. It is designed by Burkely, a Dutch brand that is an icon in the Dutch leather industry. I also adore my new sweater, a piece that I found on Dezzal. Aren’t the peacock details amazing?!
And I hope you can go on this tour with Evan one day as well: www.agventuretours.com, or call 831-761-8463