Pierce Ranch Vineyards is a boutique winery located in a highland valley at the southern border of Monterey County, but its wines have the robust characteristics of those from the Iberian Peninsula. That's because the family that operates the vineyard specializes in Spanish and Portuguese varietals. They use careful growing methods and fermentation techniques to craft a wide range of limited-run wines. Each and every one of their yearly production of 2,000 cases is grown on the estate. While lesser-known varieties such as touriga, tempranillo, and albari?o are emphasized, more familiar grapes such as cabernet sauvignon and zinfandel are represented as well. Previous vintages have included their 2010 albari?o that was awarded Best in Show at the Central Coast Wine Competition and a 2007 petite sirah that was declared Best in California at the California State Fair Wine Competition.
Flowers and ornamental vines surround the winery's tasting room, which occupies a cozy bungalow near the coast of Monterey Bay. Servers jot the day's wine offerings on a chalkboard and fill glasses behind a wooden bar. In addition to wine tastings, visitors can stop by for live music or open-house events.
Château Julien Wine Estate was featured on JustLuxe and California Winery Advisor. Yelpers give the winery a three-star average, and TripAdvisors give it an average of four owl eyes. Four Yahoo! Travelers give it a 4.5-star average.
The Twisted Roots Wine company began producing its own label of wines and its signature wine, Petite Sirah in 2005. Winemaking joined grape-growing as an integral part of the family business, and in 2010 the family incorporated Twisted Roots as a separate family business. As production continued to increase, varietals expanded to include Chardonnay, Cabernet Sauvignon, and "1918" Old Vine Zinfandel made from the family's oldest vineyard planted in 1918.
Above all else, Twisted Roots Wine strives to create wines that capture the essence of California's Lodi appellation. The Twisted Roots family embraces sustainable farming practices throughout the entire process and they almost exclusively age their wines in neutral French oak barrels, which allow the grapes' natural fruit flavors and pronounced acidity to shine. This style is evident throughout the winery's lineup of current releases. A bright and crisp chardonnay features just a hint of rounded oak flavor for the sake of balance, and the signature zinfandel?made from the vines originally planted in 1918?coats palates with its bold, yet supple notes of dark fruits and spices.
Handicap Accessible: Yes
Parking: Parking lot
Most popular offering: Cabernet Sauvignon
Alcohol: Wine Only
Outdoor Seating: Yes
Pro Tip: Sip organically grown wine while enjoying the sculpture garden and shopping our gift boutique.
Has your business won any awards?
Yes. We received Small Business of the Year in 2011 from the state of California as well as a number of awards for our wines.
Tell us about your business.
We are the oldest winery in the Carmel Valley Appellation and pioneered the grape-growing area in 1968. We produce estate grown, estate bottled, 100% certified organically grown wine. We have a sculpture garden and an art gallery on the premises. Guests may browse through our gift boutique for gourmet sauces, olive oils and wine related items.
Russell and Francis Joyce, the partners behind Joyce Vineyards, translate the philosophy of less is more into the world of wine. They gently guide grapes through the fermentation process, limiting their involvement so that each wine expresses a flavor true to the fruit and terroir it's derived from. They source the grapes from European-derived vines that Joyce planted in 1987 and also from partner vineyards spread throughout Monterey, Santa Lucia Highlands, and San Benito County. Visitors can sip the varietals in a contemporary tasting room or subscribe to the wine club for quarterly deliveries of recommended bottles.
In 1975, Ken Burnap established Santa Cruz Mountain Vineyard with one goal in mind: to produce one of the best pinot noirs in California. Four years later he hired his protégé, Jeff Emery, who now runs the vineyard and ensures that it continues to produce award-winning pinots along with complex cabernet sauvignons petite sirahs. The staff makes the rounds of seven vineyards, where it cultivates traditional Californian grapes as well as varieties that originated in Spain and Portugal for its Quinta Cruz label.