Tuesday, February 25, 2014

Self Guided - Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea - Figge Cellars, Caraccioli Cellars and Galante Vineyards

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The following wine rooms on the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport are all located on Dolores between Ocean Avenue and Seventh Avenue.  They are listed as #10, #11, and #12 on the street map. This map is also shown at the end of this post.




(#10) Figge Cellars 
Inside Winfield Gallery 

Dolores between Ocean Ave. and 7th Avenue 

Hours Thurs - Monday 12pm - 6pm
831/244-4149 





Peter Figge opened Figge Cellars in 2004.  He is the grape grower, the chief winemaker, and bottler.  Peter handpicks his grapes from local vineyards, Pelio in Carmel Valley, Parasio and La Reina in Santa Lucia Highlands, and Sycamore Flat in Arroyo Seco.


With subtle flavors, each bottle of Figge wine gives off a distinctive sense of the place, specific to their terroir, where the grapes were grown. 

Figge handcrafts two Chardonnays, two Pinot Noirs, and one Syrah. Each season produces about 1,800 cases.  



In a celebration of art and wine, Figge is located inside Winfield Art Gallery so that you can enjoy your wine while strolling through the gallery.  Taste a flight of three 2 ounce pours for $9 or a flight of 5 for $12.



(#11) Caraccioli Cellars 
Dolores between Ocean Avenue and 7th
Open Monday - Thursday 2pm - 7pm
Friday and Saturday 11am - 10pm
Sunday 11am - 7pm
831-622-7722




Salinas Valley native, Gary Caraccioli launched Caraccioli Cellars in 2006 after convincing his uncle and brother to go into the wine making business with the goal of making an exclusive and original wine to the Santa Lucia Highlands.  This turned out to be a sparkling wine.  

The Caraccioli family teamed up with Joe Rawitzer  and Michel Salgues.  Joe is said to have began wine making at the age of four, but did receive a degree in biochemistry and studied wine making and enology at UC Davis Extension before pursing wine making as his career.  Michel Salgues, who is the head winemaker at Caraccioli was born in France and reputedly the finest sparkling wine maker in California.


The Caraccioli family is serious about their sparkling wine, which undergoes a labor-intensive secondary fermentation, called méthod champenoise to create all the bubbles in their Brut Cuvée.  They also not only abide by the French law on Champagne but exceed it. French law requires Champagne Houses in France use only the first 150 gallons of juice extracted from each ton of grapes.  Caraccioli Cellars uses only the first 120 gallons providing the best ‘heart’ juice from each grape. 


The Caraccioli Cellars tasting room is located on the north side of Dolores between Ocean and Seventh.  The tasting room features a long Perota bar slab which offers plenty of space to sample a flight of wine.  Besides their sparkling wine, Caraccioli also offers a Pinor Noir and Chardonnay made from grapes from their Santa Lucia Highlands vineyard. 


A Caraccioli Full Flight, taste of any of their six wines is $15.  Pair this with a small plate of Caraccioli's cheese and charcuterie , Mediterranean olives or home made Bruschetta for $4 to $10.  Or after dinner pair the 91 Point Caraccioli Cellars 2006 Brut Rosé Santa Lucia Highlands and Moonstruck Chocolate Truffles. 


(#12) Galante Vineyards 
Dolores Avenue between Ocean and Seventh
Sunday - Friday 1pm to 6pm
Saturday 12 pm to 6pm
831/624-3800

Galante Vineyards has the pleasure of being the first tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea, having opened in 2004.  Galante tasting room is located in one of Carmel's quaint courtyards.



It can be reached by one of our secret passageways via Der Ling Lane located under the arch doorway on the south side of Ocean Avenue between Dolores and Lincoln. How Der Ling Lane received this name is another story and part of my self-guided walk and history of Ocean Avenue.

Or when strolling down the west side of Dolores between Ocean and Seventh Avenue you might come across Cowboy Galante he will point you in the right direction of the tasting room behind Piccadilly Park.  

The Galante Family history goes way back, back to 1902 when James Frank Devendorf and Frank Powers filed a new subdivision map that would eventually become the core of the village of Carmel.  Jack Galante, the owner of Galante Vineyards is the great grandson of the Father of Carmel, Frank Devendorf. 



In 1969, Jack’s parents purchased a 700 acre cattle ranch in Carmel Valley.  While ranching they began growing grapes on their property.



In 1994, Jack built a winery to produce their 100% estate wines.  Today Galante Vineyards is known for their premier Cabernet Sauvignon.  Their tasting room has a rustic western theme.  Check out the overstuffed cowboy boot chair or rocking chair built out of wine barrels. 



Besides Cab, Galante is known for its Malbec, Petite Sirah, Merlot and Pinot’s, stop in and enjoy a flight. 



Info on Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport 
Part One De Tierra Vineyards, Wrath Tasting Room, & Scheid Tasting Room 
Part Two Manzoni Cellars, Blair Estate, & Shale Canyon Tasting Room 
Part Three  Dawn's Dream, Silvestri Vineyards, VIno Napoli

Self Guided - Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea - Dawn's Dream, Silvestri Vineyards, and Vino Napoli

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The following wine rooms on the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport are all located on Seventh Avenue between San Carlos and Dolores.  They are listed as #7, #8, and #9 on the street map. This map is also shown at the end of this post.




(#7) Dawn's Dream 
NW Corner 7th and San Carlos
Open daily 1pm to 6pm
Saturday 12pm to 6pm(831) 659-2649



Dawn Galante, wife of Galante Vineyard's Jack Galante, opened Dawn’sDream Tasting Room in February 2014.  



You will find Dawn’s Dream behind Thinker Toys in the Plaza San Carlos NW Corner of  Seventh Avenue and San Carlos. 

White’s poured are a Chardonnay and Savignon Blanc.  Also try the "Trilogy of Sisters," three Pinot's named after Dawn's daughters: Pinot Alyssa which has hints of persimmons and vanilla, Pinot Nicole, with hints of brown sugar and gooseberries, and Pinot Rachael with hints of maple, cedar and tea roses. 



Currently a $10 flight of wine consists 
of seven 2 ounce pours. 



Even your pets are welcome



Carmel-by-the-Sea is a very small community where businesses work together to support and promote each other. 



In this fashion, Dawn's Dream has also partnered with Vendange Carmel Inn & Suites, which offers rooms decorated by local wineries.  The Dawn's Dream room is a Standard Queen on the second floor. 


(#8) Silvestri Vineyards Tasting Room
 
7th Avenue between Dolores and San Carlos 
 Open Daily 12pm to 7pm
831/625-0111


In 1989, after a successful career as a music composer, writing over 100 scores for film, Alan Silvestri moved his family of five from Los Angeles to the Carmel Valley.


In the spring of 2000 Alan and his wife Sandra began a new adventure.  They planted three varieties of grapes on their ten plus acres in Carmel Valley.  Their first harvest of 100% estate grown grapes of the Silvestri Vineyards was in the Fall of 2003.   

Silvestri Vineyards Wine Room, decorated with movie posters for which Alan wrote the score, is located on Seventh Avenue between Dolores and San Carlos.


As passionate about his wine as he is about his music Alan says, "There's something about the elemental side of wine making that appeals to me. Both music making and wine making involve the blending of art and science.  Just as each note brings its own voice to the melody, each vine brings its own unique personality to the wine.” 


Visit Silvestri Tasting Room and enjoy some of their current vintages which include: a 2012 Pinot Gris with hints of pear, kiwi and lemon lime, 2012 Pinot Blanc with hints of honeysuckle and cantaloupe, 2010 Chardonnay “Bella Sandra” with hints of honey, green apple and vanilla, and 2009 Pinot Noir “Rising Tide” with hints of blackberry and plum.


(#9) Vino Napoli 
NE Corner of Dolores and 7th
Daily 3pm to 10pm
831/626-2032 



Vino Napoli is the largest tasting room in town with over 3,000 square feet it features two flat screen TV’s , and a half dozen café style tables set on top of wine barrels all...


warmed by a cozy fireplace.   


Vino Napoli is not only a tasting room, but it is also a wine bar.  Meaning besides enjoying a tasting flight, you may purchase a regular 6 ounce pour glass of wine and stay awhile. 


There is also a selection
 of light appetizers offered. 


The wines featured at Vino Napoli are selected from partners and close friends of the Pèpe family.


In 2001 the Pèpe family offered their first vintage and today they are proud to offer a selection of four different wines from current vintages.  Try Pèpe Vesuvio a blend of Cabernet, Merlot and Syrah or Pèpe 100% Chardonnay. Must be over 21 to enter. 


Info on Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport 
Part One De Tierra Vineyards, Wrath Tasting Room, & Scheid Tasting Room 
Part Two Manzoni Cellars, Blair Estate, & Shale Canyon Tasting Room 
Part Four Figge Cellars, Caraccioli Cellars, & Galante Vineyard



Self Guided - Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea - Manzoni Cellars, Blair Estate and Shale Canyon

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The following three wine rooms on the Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport are located in The Paseo Courtyard on San Carlos.  They listed as #5, and #6 on the street map also shown at the end of this post. 




(#5) Manzoni Cellars 
Paseo Courtyard
San Carlos between Ocean and 7th
Open Sunday - Friday 11am to 6pm
Saturday 11am to 7pm
831/620-6541 





The Manzoni family has lived and farmed in the Santa Lucia Highlands since the 1930’s.  Initially in the dairy business which evolved to crop farming and finally into wine making when the family converted six acres of land into vine rootstock in the 1990’s.  


Manzoni Vineyardssmall estate vineyard, produces just 2000 cases of wine a year. With their wines continually scoring 90+ points it is clear that they strive for quality not quantity.


Manzoni Cellars Pinot Noir won a gold medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition and their Syrah double gold at the San Diego International Wine Competition. 


Their boutique wine room complete with massive antique bar is located in The Paseo Courtyard on San Carlos between Ocean and 7th, across from Basil Carmel


Manzoni Vineyards specializes in Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Pinot Gris and Syrah.  Stop by their wine room and your host will most likely be managing partner Mark Manzoni himself (shown below pouring his vintage at the Coachman's Inn during the Carmel Heritage Society's Carmel Inns of Distinction 2013).   Your dog is also welcome to join you at the Manzoni wine bar.

(#6) Blair Estate and Shale Canyon Wines 
The Paseo Courtyard
San Carlos between Ocean and 7th

Hours Daily 11am to 7pm

831/625-WINE  


Blair Estate and Shale Canyon share a wine room at the back of The Paseo Courtyard on San Carlos behind Manzoni and across from Basil.  


In 2007 Jeffrey Blair planted the first Pinot Noir grapes on his beloved grandmother Delfina's property in the Arroyo Seco Appellations.


Their debut release produced 258 cases of Blair Estate 2010 Pinot Noir Delfina’s Vineyard.  In the glass this inaugural Pinot Noir displays a hint of rose petal, anise, and spice combined with Bing cherry and strawberry. 


With the success of such a fine Pinot from the Arroyo Seco Appellations, Blair Estate decided to expand their varietals.  In 2012 they purchased fruit from two neighboring vineyards, Meador Estate and Roger Rose.

In 2013 they released their Blair Estate 2012 Pinot Gris Meador Vineyard which received 90 Points and "Editors' Choice" from Wine Enthusiast Magazine and



Blair Estate 2012 Chardonnay Roger Rose Vineyard which received 90 Points and a Gold Medal at the San Francisco Chronicle Wine Competition.  


Sixth-generation Salinas Valley brothers, Jake, Keith and Tim Prader, planted Shale Canyon vineyard with a number of red varietals in 2008.  The vineyard is on such isolated property in the upper portion of the Arroyo Seco Canyon, that production is run totally off the grid with a propane stove and well pump powered by a photovoltaic cell system (solar).  



Shale Canyon specializes in small lots of hand crafted varietals of Chardonnay, Syrah, Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Cabernet Franc, Petite Sirah, Malbec, Mourvedre, and Zinfandel. 

Shale Canyon supplements their wine production with grapes purchased from a number of areas. Chardonnay, syrah and merlot come from vineyards in the Arroyo Seco, zinfandel from Dry Creek in Healdsburg and cabernet from San Benito County. 



A stop by the joint wine room of Blair Estate and Shale Canyon will probably find proprietors Tim Prader or Jeffrey Blair pouring varietals (Tim and Jeffrey shown below at the Carmel-by-the-Glass 2013 presented by Rich Pèpe of Vino Napoli in Devendorf Park).    



Info on Carmel Wine Walk by-the-Sea Passport 
Part One De Tierra Vineyards, Wrath Tasting Room, & Scheid Tasting Room 
Part Three Dawn's Dream, Silvestri Vineyards, & Vino Napoli 
Part Four Figge Cellars, Caraccioli Cellars, & Galante Vineyard