Carmel-By-The-Sea is by far one of my favorite places in California. During a recent visit, I had the opportunity to visit a few of the many tasting rooms located right in town.
With over 13 tasting rooms within walking distance from one another, it’s easy to leave your car behind and spend a day strolling around town sampling great Monterey County wines.
Not only is Carmel-By-The-Sea gorgeous and very walkable, it’s also the most dog-friendly town I’ve ever visited. Tasting rooms, restaurants, beaches and shops all seem to welcome furry friends with open arms, and often have a water bowl and some treats to share.
One particular day, we decided to try the wines of De Tierra Vineyards. We wanted to get some food first and walked to town on a quintessential Carmel-By-The-Sea morning – foggy and a bit chilly with the scent of pine permeating the air. Just perfect.
We decided to grab a late breakfast at Katy’s Place – a popular local spot with great food and a dog-friendly patio. I highly recommend Katy’s Place if you’re visiting town. Just remember to stop at the ATM first as it’s “cash only”.
After breakfast, we headed a few doors down the street to the De Tierra Vineyards tasting room. De Tierra came highly recommended by a few local wine aficionados, so I was very excited for our tasting.
When we walked in, we were immediately greeted by Chris who took us through the portfolio of hand-crafted De Tierra wines. We opted to try 6 wines for a $15 tasting fee.
I had a tough time choosing my favorites, but I ended up buying a couple bottles of 2011 “Vindegard” Chardonnay ($26), 2009 “Reserve” Chardonnay ($30), and 2011 “The Puzzler” – a blend of Merlot & Syrah ($26). I’m not a huge fan of sweet wines, but I was also tempted to buy a bottle of nicely balanced 2006 EKEM Late Harvest Pinot Gris ($32). I’ll have to save that for next time.
During our tasting, we also enjoyed some fresh baguette and amazing olive oil. After raving about how good it was, we discovered the olive oil also comes from the Corral de Tierra estate of Tom Russell, owner of De Tierra Vineyards. The olive oil is available for purchase in the tasting room for $20 per bottle.
Overall the wines at De Tierra Vineyards were fantastic and the vibe of the tasting room was warm and welcoming. I couldn’t think of a better place to spend an afternoon. Be sure to stop by if you’re in town. I’m already dreaming about my next visit…
DE TIERRA VINEYARDS
Mission Street & 5th Avenue
Carmel, CA 93921
Phone: (831) 754-3176
Tasting room hours: 2PM – 8PM Tuesday through Thursday; 11AM – 8PM Friday through Sunday