Weekend in Monterey & Carmel Valley Wine Trail

Happy Tuesday! How was your Thanksgiving weekend? I hope you got to relax a bit and also had a chance to do some holiday shopping.  After a festive and relaxing Thanksgiving day dinner we headed to the seaside towns of Monterey and Carmel.


We went for a quick two-day visit to Monterey and Carmel. On day one we relaxed by the ocean watching sea otters and sea lions frolicking in the cold Pacific waters and on day two we went wine tasting in Carmel Valley Wine Trail.


It was a rainy stormy weekend in Monterey but we didn’t mind one bit, we were near the ocean and we love the ocean no matter what the weather!

Carmel Valley Wine Trail

Carmel Valley wine trail is about twenty minutes drive from the town of Carmel.  Carmel Valley is a great detour from the tourist town of Carmel by the Sea. Take Carmel Valley Road towards the Santa Lucia Mountains and within twenty minutes you will start seeing farms, vineyards and wineries. There are more than twenty-five wineries on this wine trail all pouring delicious locally made wine with locally grown grapes from vineyards right here in Carmel Valley. If you like pinot noirs you will love the wineries on this trail!

The predominant wine in this wine trail is Pinot Noir.  Each winery pours a wide variety of Pinots and I can honestly say that I liked each and every one of them! Carmel Valley Wine Tail is a wonderful wine-tasting experience and the best part is that the wines in this trail are extremely affordable.  Here is a look at the wineries that we stopped at.

Folktale Winery

What a cool find this was! This is one fabulous winery with delicious wine and delicious food! Yes, food too! What a wonderful idea to serve food along with wine tasting.  The menu is light faire and meant to take the edge off tasting so many wines all at once.  An amazing menu made with farm fresh ingredients with items such as roasted carrot tacos, flat bread pizzas, cheese platters piled high with local cheeses and condiments, Folktale makes for a great place to grab a bite to eat while enjoying wine tasting as well.


Cowgirl Winery

Another fun winery full of wit and character is Cowgirl Winery.  The decor here is chic with a Western flair. Cowgirl Winery sells not just wine but artisanal goods such as handmade jewelry, soaps, and clothing.  At this winery it’s all about the pinots and reds. Beautiful lush pinots and reds are delicious making it hard to pick up just one bottle. This is a fun place to sit and relax and taste some solid good wine.



Talbott Winery right next to Cowgirl Winery is what put Carmel Valley Wine Trail on the map.  The flagship winery of this area boasts award winning chardonnays and of course pinot noirs too.  Talbott winery is more Napa-like with a more formal look to it with good tasting wine that is in par with Napa.


I. Brand & Family

This little winery has a very hipster feel to it and is fairly new to the area and came recommended by the barista at Talbott.  I.Brand winery had a huge variety of wines, but what intrigued my daughter and me were the funky labels on their wine bottles 😜.  They had good wine too🍷.


Windy Oaks

More pinots and reds can be had at this winery but what was intriguing here was their coveted Bordeaux wine that the winemaker made from Bordeaux vines he planted in Carmel Valley that he cloned from Burgundy, France!  The wine was delicious! The tasting room was beautiful as well.  Check out the partition-wall made of wine bottles and the gorgeous oak branches used as an artistic light fixture.


My eldest daughter is an artist and her next project is working on an art piece with wine corks. She has been collecting them for a few months now but it’s a slow process , but here at the Windy Oaks winery she was able to get a bag full of wine corks! Jackpot!



At Parsonage not only can one taste wine but also see a beautiful collection of art. Not just any art but handmade quilts that look like paintings! The owner’s wife it seems is a quilt artist and at the winery one can see posters of her collection of artistic quilts.  She even designed the wine labels at this winery that are so eye-catching that I wanted to buy the wine just for the gorgeous wine label!


Hard to believe these are images of real quilts! The details on these blankets are amazing!


Sri got another bag of wine corks to add to her collection!!  I can’t wait to see what art piece she makes out of all these corks!

If you are heading to Monterey or Carmel for the weekend or even as a day trip, stop by the off-the-beaten path Carmel Valley Wine Trail for a down-to earth fun wine tasting experience. For more information on the Carmel Valley Wine Trail and Monterey check out these links.

Carmel Valley Wineries

Visit Cannery Row Monterey

Top attractions in Monterey

Have a great week everyone!


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