It started out like “one-of-those-days” but ended much better. We set our sights on the wineries around the tasting rooms of Carmel and in the Carmel Valley, so we drove into Carmel-by-the-Sea, home to at least five winery tasting rooms. Unlike back home where the winery’s store has to be attached to their actual winery, here you can have a completely separate store off your property and over the mountains, if you wish. The rooms recommended by the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association were Galante, Caracciolo Cellars, Figge Cellars and Cima Collina , and the fifth was Wrath, which had just opened last month. Here’s where the one-of-those-days comes into play: each tasting room did not open till about 1 or 2 in afternoon, we were strolling Carmel at 10am … and Wrath is in a crazy open mall, and I was positive the map had them on the third floor (not the first where I eventually found them later in the day … more on that later). So with frustration we climbed back into the car and pointed the GSP to an address I had been given: 8940 Carmel Valley Road – Chateau Julien.
The Chateau was started 30 years ago, with a total acreage of 16, of which 5.5 are planted, with now, 19- year-old Sangiovese vines. Merlot is their flagship wine, which parallels the St. Julien region of France, which they patterned the winery after. They were proud to tell me that they were the second winery in the Carmel Valley. I found them to be a winery that has the winery experience down to a tee, but the wines were lacking … (read about part 1 of the journey and see some of the pictures, click here).
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