Winemaker John Cotta has more than 20 years of experience producing wine in California. His knowledge of Old World techniques combined with up-to-date wine making technology give Baywood Cellars the bottling capacity of up to 150 bottles per minute. Open daily 1pm-6pm. 381 Cannery Row, Suite C, Monterey, 645-9035. http://www.baywood-cellars.com
Bernardus’ wine tasting room is located in the heart of Carmel Valley Village. Beautiful color photographs of its upper Carmel Valley vineyard and winery adorn the walls. All the vintage wines sell out quickly. Tastings daily, 11am-5pm. 5 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, 659-1900. www.bernardus.com
This Monterey County tasting room encourages visitors to picnic on the grounds as they enjoy a bottle of limited release wine. The winery hosts tours and events and even offers a private VIP dining room. 800 S. Alta St, Gonzales, 675-5341. www.blackstonewinery.com
The lime-enriched soil of John and Jana Saunders’ Carmel Valley vineyard yields Cabernet Sauvignons and Cabernet Francs of notable complexity and minerality. A terroir-seeker’s dream. Tasting Thursday through Sunday at Valley Hills Wine Tasting, Valley Hills Center, 7156A Carmel Valley Rd, 625-5040. www.boetewinery.com
Frank Joyce has been hand-making small batches of the area’s best Pinot Noir, Merlot and Cabernet since he decided to scale back his dentistry practice and ramp up his winery. Limited production, mostly local distribution and great quality have distinguished Chateau Christina for the past few years. 60 Via Milpitas, Carmel Valley, 659-0312.
Beautiful stained glass and antiques adorn Chateau Julien’s wine tasting room. Built in the style of a French country chateau, the building’s great hall with its cathedral ceiling adds a touch of elegance. Tasting room open daily. Tours by reservation only. 8940 Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley, 624-2600. www.chateaujulien.com
Cima Collina’s handcrafted Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc and Merlot are on pour at this art gallery and wine-tasting bar in downtown Carmel. Most of the wines originate on three unique Salinas Valley vineyards. Open Thursday through Monday. San Carlos between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 620-0645. www.cimacollina.com
Vineyards, thousands of roses and grazing cattle make Galante’s 700-acre property a unique place to have a picnic, hold an event or taste the very limited estate Cabernet Sauvignon. Tasting daily at the Carmel-by-the-Sea tasting room. Dolores between Ocean and Seventh, Carmel, 624-3800. www.galantevineyards.com
Georis’ relaxing Carmel Valley tasting room and shady courtyard offer intriguing vintages, fine furniture and an irresistible array of books and gifts. 4 Pilot Rd., Carmel Valley, 659-1050. www.georiswine.com
Heller Estates Vineyards offers award-winning organic estate-bottled Cabernet, as well as Merlot, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. Heller is truly a local wine its grapes are grown in the Cachagua region of the Carmel Valley. Try the Chenin Blanc! Tasting room at 69 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, (800) 625-8466. www.hellerestate.com
This small, quality producer in the classical Joseph de Maria stone building specializes in estate-grown Sauvignon Blanc, Chardonnay and Cabernet Sauvignon. Winery tours by appointment, tasting daily. 2 Village Dr., Suite A, Carmel Valley, 659-8100. www.joullian.com
Located at the southernmost tip of Monterey County in San Lucas, Lockwood Vineyards produces some very notable wines, including its Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot offerings. You can sample Lockwood wines at either of the Taste of Monterey sites (see below); 1-800-753-1424 for other locations. www.lockwood-wine.com
Parsonage Village Vineyard
Bill and Mary Ellen Parsons produce their estate-grown Cabernets, Syrahs and Merlots from nine acres of prime sun-drenched Carmel Valley land. The result is wines of exceptional flavor and intensity. Tasting at Valley Hills Wine Tasting, Valley Hills Center, 7156A Carmel Valley Rd., 625-5040. www.parsonagewine.com
Established in 1979, Silver Mountain Vineyards produces robust and complex world-class wines from organic grapes. The tasting room offers all current releases and also contains a gallery of artwork as well as a collection of antique silver. Located across from the Monterey Plaza Hotel & Spa on Cannery Row, the tasting room is open every day. 381 Cannery Row, Monterey, 644-9609. www.silvermtn.com
Its winery is tucked away in the far-off Santa Lucia Highlands, so Talbott opened its first local tasting room in March of 1999. Antiques and gift items are for sale, and small parties can be accommodated. Tasting daily. 53 W. Carmel Valley Rd., Carmel Valley Village, 659-3500. www.talbottvineyards.com
Located in an old stone ranch house just minutes from downtown Monterey, the Ventana tasting room offers a full selection of award-winning wines. Recommended wines are the Gold Medal Chardonnays and Rieslings plus the award-winning Sauvignon Blanc, and Syrah. 2999 Highway 68, Monterey, 372-7415. www.ventanawines.com
Wines of Carmel
Paul Stokes and Lynn Sakasegawa, the husband-and-wife team behind Wines of Carmel, produce superb Chardonnay and Cabernet grown on their property high in the hills above Carmel Valley. Small production, careful techniques and a lot of love go into this truly local wine. Post Office Box 1277, Carmel Valley, 659-0750.
A Taste of Monterey
This wine visitors’ center pours selections from over 70 local wineries. Visitors can choose from two tasting featuring 15 different wines each day, and 200 different Monterey County wines are for sale. This is an excellent starting point for a wine tour of Monterey County. Tour information, maps and brochures available. 700 Cannery Row, Monterey, 646-5446; 127 Main St., Oldtown Salinas, 751-1980. Open daily 11am-5pm. www.tasteofmonterey.com
Ag Venture Tours
This tour company offers guided tours of the Salinas and Carmel valleys highlighting the county’s rich agricultural and wine making legacy. Tours specialize in wine tasting, agricultural education and local history. Full-day tours include a picnic lunch, wine tasting fees, and transportation. 384-7686. www.whps.com
Rancho Cellars, located near The Barnyard shopping center, is a fine wine merchant stocked with over 1,600 premium wines from around the world. Rancho’s wine tasting bar, Cepage, offers weekly tasting events. 26340 Carmel Rancho Blvd., Carmel, 625-5646.
The Sanctuary Beach Resort is convenient to many of the best Monterey Bay, California wineries. Begin planning your Monterey Bay winery getaway today by calling 877-944-3863.