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Carmel-by-the-Sea is home to numerous wine tasting rooms. The first 13 I am going to tell you about are part of Carmel's Wine Walk.  If you plan on visiting any of these while you are in town, I suggest you sign up with the Wine Walk at here.  It is free!  Once you receive your confirmation you may take a look at what is offered at each wine room and make a decision on which one you are are going to visit.  

For example at Bar Napoli you will receive a complimentary cheese and salumi tapas plate with each paid tasting.  At KORi Wines you will receive $5 off your tasting flight or 5% off an order of $50 or more in KORi wines. Lepe Cellers offers 10% off all bottle purchases. And Manzoni Cellars offers a tasting flight of 6 wines for the price of 5. 

Next head off to the wine room you want to visit.  Reservations are recommended but not necessary.  Once at the wine room press the 'check in' button under the wine room name.  You will be prompted with a screen to enter a validation code.  The server at the wine room will provide you with this code.  And now you may receive your exclusive offer.  

There are a number of other wine rooms in town that do not participate in the Carmel Wine Walk.  Just because they don't participate doesn't mean they aren't fabulous.  So just take a look at the following list of Carmel wine rooms and make a decision which ones you will visit. Enjoy  Carmel-by-the-Sea wine tasting venues. Salute! 

Bar Napoli (formerly known as Vino Napoli) 
 (Wine Walk
NE Corner of Dolores and Seventh 
Wednesday through Friday 4:00 - 9:00pm
Saturday & Sunday 12:00 - 9:00pm
Happy Hour Wednesday through Sunday 4:00 - 6pm

Bar Napoli is located in the historic El Paseo building. It is the largest tasting room in town with over 1,000 square feet, featuring two flat screen TV’s (baseball, soccer, football), and a half dozen café style tables some placed on top of wine barrels.

Located next door to Little Napoli (also owned by Rich Pépe), Bar Napoli is a wine & spirits bar, shop and tasting room. They serve signature products from the Pépe family of ventures featuring Pépe Winery of Napa, Doc Pépe's Lab Barrel-Aged Cocktails of Montery, and PépeCellow Limoncello of Sorrenty, Italy.  They also serve a wide assortment of Italian prosecco and French Champagne. 

There is a cozy fireplace inside.  Sit here during the summer months as the fog rolls through town. If you are interested in a tasting accompanied by light appetizers this is a good choice. Appetizers are shown on the chalk board and change periodically. The "lollipops" are delicious. 


Bar Napoli is on the Wine Passport.  It is also considered a wine bar, which means if you would rather just enjoy a 6 ounce glass of wine with friends - by all means this is the place. You must be over 21 to enter, unless you are furry and well groomed! 


Blair Estate Artisan Wines
 (Wine Walk
Lower Level Carmel Plaza
Ocean Avenue between Junipero and Mission
Sunday - Thursday 11- 6pm
Friday - Saturday 11 - 7pm

The Blair Estate Tasting Room is situated on the Lower Level of the Carmel Plaza Shopping Mall.  Right in the heart of the shopping and restaurant district and a must stop on the Carmel Wine Walk.  Guests will often find owner Jeffrey Blair serving his award winning releases.  

Jeffrey Blair

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 2010 Pinot Noir Delfina's Vineyard.  

With the success of this Pinot, Blair Estate expanded their varietals.  Now there are four main varietals, Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. 


NW Corner 7th and San Carlos
(Wine Walk)
Monday - Thursday 12:30 - 6:30 pm
Friday - Saturday 12 - 7:30pm
Sunday 12 - 6:30pm

Dawn Galante's dream was to open a wine room in downtown Carmel near her husband Jack's Galante Vineyard wine room.  Her dream came true in 2014.

Located behind Thinker Toys in the Plaza San Carlos this wine room features three varietals, Pinot Noir, Rosé, and Chardonnay. On Friday's enjoy your tasting with a slice of gourmet pizza ($18 per slice).  



Mission between Fifth and Sixth
(Wine Walk )
Sunday - Thursday 1 - 6pm 
Friday - Saturday 1 - 7pm

De Tierra Vineyards began in 1998 as an organic grape-growing operation in the Salinas Valley by Tom Russell.  

The vineyard is SIP Certified, which stands for Sustainability in Practice.  This unique certification goes beyond just being “green.” A  SIP Certified vineyard, farms in a way that protects both natural and human resources. 

Today, De Tierra is owned and run by Jeff Meacham and Andrew Schoenfeld.  They produce five estate varietals: Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Merlot, Riesling, and Cabernet Franc.  All are SIP certified sustainably harvested wines.   


Behind Picadilly Park
via Charming Der Ling Lane off Ocean Avenue
(Wine Walk)
Monday - Thursday 12:30 -6:30pm
Friday - Saturday 12:30 - 7:30 pm
Sunday 12:00 - 6:30pm

Opening its doors in 2004, Galante Vineyards has the pleasure of being the first wine tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea. It can be reached from the west side of Dolores Avenue between Ocean and Seventh behind Picadilly Park, or via Der Ling Lane, the location of one of Carmel's quaint courtyards.

Der Ling Lane is 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 our self-guided walk and history of Ocean Avenue. When you see Cowboy Slim you will know you have reached your destination. 

The Galante family history in Carmel goes back to 1902 when James Franklin Devendorf and Frank Powers formed Carmel Development Company and 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 James Franklin 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.  They also feature Malbec, Petite Sirah, and Sauvignon Blanc.


Hahn Family Tasting Room 
Lower Level Carmel Plaza
(Wine Walk)
Daily 12 - 6pm

The Hahn Family Tasting Room features Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Merlot, Cabernet Sauvignon and the Hahn GSM which is a blend of Grenache, Syrah and Mourvedre.  


KORi Tasting Room 
(Wine Walk)
Court of the Fountains 
NW Corner of Mission St
Between Ocean Avenue and 7th Avenue
Monday - Thursday 1pm to 6pm 
Friday 1pm to 7pm
Saturday 12pm to 7pm 
Sunday 12pm to 6pm

Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards owner Kirk Williams teamed up with step-daughter Kori Violini to initially produce a small boutique bottling of Pinot Noir in 2007.  That grew to a full collection of wines in 2018 and they opened this wine tasting room here on the north side of the Court of the Fountains in 2019.  They feature locally grown Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay from their family owned vineyards as well as Sauvignon Blanc, Cabernet Sauvignon & Pinot Blanc from partner vineyards. 


                                                                  Lepe Cellars
                                                                  (Wine Walk)
                                             Dolores Street between Ocean & 7th 
                                                   Inside the Winfield Art Gallery
                                                       Monday - Sunday 1 - 7pm

Lepe tasting room is located in the historic Tudor revival style De Yoe Building on Dolores.  Built and designed by M. J. Murphy in 1924, this was originally the home of the Denny-Watrous art Gallery until 1927 when it became the home of Carmel’s newspaper The Pine Cone.  The newspaper resided here until the end of World War II. 

Today this is the home of the Christopher Winfield's art gallery, an inviting mix of contemporary and eclectic art as well as the Lepe Cellars tasting room.  

After studying viticulture at California Polytechnic State University, Miguel Lepe began his career working for various well respected wineries across California's Central Coast and South America. Today he showcases his own wines here at the Winfield Gallery.


Manzoni Cellars
Hampton Court 
7th Avenue between San Carlos and Dolores 
(Wine Walk)
Daily 12pm to 5pm (closed Tuesday and Wednesday)

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

Mark Manzoni

They specialize 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 or Ms. Vina who really runs the place.  Here she is posing perfectly coiffed in front of her antique bar. 


Scheid Tasting Room 
San Carlos and Seventh
Bell Tower Court
(Wine Walk)
Sunday - Thursday 12 - 7pm
Friday - Saturday 12 - 8pm

It is said, a great wine begins in the vineyard.  Al Scheid knew this to be true, which is why in 1971 he purchased acreage in Monterey County based on the advice of Professor A. J. Winkler of the University of California at Davis.  Winkler, a professor of Viticulture and Enology determined that Monterey County was comparable to Napa, Sonoma, Burgundy, and Bordeaux.

Scheid also believed that in order to grow the highest quality wine grapes one had to adhere to the three E's of sustainability: environmentally sound practices, social equity, and economic viability.   Scheid features Chardonnay, Pinot Noir, Merlot, and Cabernet Sauvignon.  


Shale Canyon Tasting Room
The Paseo Courtyard 
San Carlos between Ocean Avenue and Seventh 
(Wine Walk)
Monday - Wednesday 1pm to 4pm
Thursday 1pm to 5pm
Friday - Saturday 12pm to 7pm 
Sunday 1pm to 5pm
 Sixth-generation Salinas Valley brothers, Jake, Keith, and Tim Prader, plated Shale Canyon vineyard with a number of red varietals in 2008.  The vineyard is on such an 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, Petit Sirah, Malbec, Mouredre, 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.   Currently their tasting room is featuring Zinfandel, Temranillo, Mourvedre, and Bourdeaux.  

Dolores between Sixth and Fifth
Su Vecino Courtyard
(Wine Walk)
Sunday - Monday 12 - 6pm
Thursday - Friday 12 - 6pm

Founded in 1996 by Jim and Judy Schultz, Windy Oaks vineyards are located on a windy ridge in Corralitos overlooking Monterey Bay.

With Jim as the winemaker their first vintage was a 1999 Pinot Noir.  Today the family farms a total of 26 acres of Pinot Noir and one acre of Chardonnay.  

In 2011 Jim and Judy's sons, Spencer and Lucas completed the Winemaking Certification program at UC Davis and have joined their parents in winemaking and vineyard management. Windy Oaks features Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rhone Varietals. 


The rest of the wine rooms in town are not on the Carmel Wine Walk.  But still worth a visit.  

 Albatross Ridge 
Dolores between Ocean & Sixth
Sunday - Thursday Noon - 7pm
Friday - Saturday Noon - 9pm

In 2006 father and son team Brad and Garrett Bowlus  found a site situated between the elevations of 850 and 1,250 feet perched on a mountaintop seven miles from the Pacific Ocean. There was serendipity in this location, as it was one of the take off points used by Brad's grandfather, William Hawley Bowlus, for his sailplane in the 1930s. They named the area Abatross Ridge and set about planting 25 acres of vines in 2008.  
Albatross Ridge is not part of the Wine Walk but it is a prominent wine room located in the historic Art Deco style Bank of Carmel building.  Stop by and sample their Pinot Noir or Chardonnay.  

Dolores east side between
 Ocean Avenue and 7th

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

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. 

Caraccioli Cellars is located under the green awning in the historic Spanish Revival style Leidig Building on Dolores. Enjoy a seat at their long Perota bar which offers plenty of space to sample a flight of wine with friends.  Or check this place out for dessert after dinner and pair your Caraccioli's Brut Cuvée with one of their small plates such as Moonstruck Chocolates! Caraccioli Cellars serves three varietals besides the Brut Cuvée, Brut Rosé, Pinot Noir, and Chardonnay. 


Seventh Avenue between Dolores and San Carlos 
Monday - Wednesday 12 - 6pm
Thursday - Sunday 12 - 7pm
In 1989, after a successful career as a music composer, writing over 100 scores for film, Alan Silvestri moved his family from Los Angeles to Carmel Valley. 

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.” 

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 is located in the historic Enchanted Oaks building. They feature Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Syrah, and Barbera. 

Lower Level Carmel Plaza
Ocean and Junipero
Monday - Saturday 11 - 6pm
Sunday 11 - 5pm

Wrath Co-owner, Michael Thomas came to wine-making by way of the world of academia. With a PhD in Classical Art and Archaeology, Michael spent fifteen years excavating sights and living in Italy.  It was during that time he also developed his passion for wine.

In 2007, the Thomas family purchased San Saba Vineyards, in the Santa Lucia Highlands and “set out to dramatically change the estate’s wine and viticulture.”   They worked with Steve McIntyre to become SIP Certified, developing a sustainable program specific to their vineyards unique conditions. 

Wrath Tasting Room features four top varietals, Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay, and Sauvignon Blanc. 

The beautifully remodeled Carmel Plaza with cozy fire pits and the famous Fountain of Woof is home to three wine rooms, Blair, Wrath, and Hahn.  It is also home to the Cheese Shop! 

The Cheese Shop 
Lower Level Carmel Plaza
Monday - Saturday 10 - 6pm
Sunday 11 - 5:30pm

Here you will find more kinds of cheese than you ever thought could have existed.  You can try as many as you like. It is a great place to pick up a picnic lunch, and bottle of wine. 

That is it for this review - it is clear, if you are looking for a wine experience, downtown Carmel-by-the-Sea has a great deal!   Drink responsibly, stay in one of our hotels, and walk to all our wine rooms. 

For an interactive map from GPSmyCity for many of my blog post please visit this site.

All pictures by L. A. Momboisse