These top Carmel Valley wineries in Monterey County are along the beautiful Carmel Valley Road. No trip to Carmel or Monterey is complete without a visit to one or more of these small wineries.
Besides wine tasting, there are many other enjoyable activities to do in the town of Carmel and the Monterey area. Whatever your interest, Carmel offers something for everyone, even kids.
Top Carmel Valley wineries to visit
- Chateau Julien – the only combined winery and tasting room in Carmel Valley
- Heller Estate – 100 percent certified organic, dry-farmed vineyards
- Joullian Vineyards – Delicious estate reds, three styles of Chardonnay
- Talbotts Vineyards – Chardonnay and Pinot Noir specialist
- Bernardus Winery – Wines made in the Bordeaux style
- Holman Ranch – Estate wines and olive oil
- Galante Vineyards – Three distinctive Cabernet Sauvignons
Dining and Lodging Recommendations
Winery Descriptions, Driving Directions, Tasting Room Hours
Chateau Julien Wine Estate
The Chateau Julien Wine Estate is located six miles from Highway 1 on Carmel Valley Road. Observe for the entrance on the right, it will come up quickly. Chateau Julien is the only winery on Carmel Valley Road that has a combined winery and tasting room.It is an elegant winery with beautiful grounds and a lavish picnic area. Most of the wines produced by Chateau Julien come from the Lockwood Valley located nearby in Salinas. You will also see a vineyard adjacent to the winery. This is a Sangiovese vineyard, the same grape used in the making of Chianti. If you only have time to visit one winery, this is a perfect choice. There are tours available, a tasting room, and a beautiful picnic area. Enjoy your lunch with a glass of their Pinot Grigio. Call ahead to reserve a spot on one of the tours.
Tasting Room Hours: 8 am – 5 pm Mon – Friday, 11 am – 5 pm weekends
Tours at 10:30 am and 2:30 pm Mon – Friday,
12:30 and 2:30 pm weekends – reservations required, tours last 45 minutes.
Phone: (831) 624-2600, Go to website
Approximately six miles from Chateau Julien you will come to the area known as Carmel Valley Village. You will find several wineries here and the first one you come to is on the left, the Heller Estate. There is much to like about this winery. For starters, the winery’s 120 acres of vineyards are dry-farmed and certified as 100 percent organic. The tasting room is quaint and the servers are friendly and unpretentious. There are some very unusual sculptures around the gardens that are worth viewing. There is a small shaded picnic area that is a perfect spot for lunch. If you are picnicking here, try a glass of their delicious Merlot Rose. This wine is dry and crisp. It is ideal for an afternoon picnic lunch.
After Heller Estate, immediately watch for Village Road and turn right and look for the Joullian Vineyards tasting room. This winery produces 12,000 cases per year with Chardonnay equaling about half of their case production. They make three unique and very tasty Chardonnays. The first is a blend of grapes from five different vineyards in Monterey County. The second and third Chardonnays are single vineyard wines, one from Arroyo Seco AVA and one from Santa Lucia AVA, both in the Monterey Country. The winery also makes a delightful Sauvignon Blanc and estate reds, Merlot, Zinfandel, and Cabernet. All of these wines are from the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley.
Robert Talbott Vineyards
Just across the road from Joullian on the corner of Pilot Road and Carmel Valley Road is the Robert Talbott Vineyards. This winery concentrates on two varietals, Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The climate of the Santa Lucia and Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County are conducive to growing Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. The winery directs all its attention to these two varietals, and the results are evident is a series of very fine and high quality wines. We were very impressed as we tasted three labels each of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. The winery has a small picnic area which also is a very good spot to enjoy a deli lunch. Try a glass of the refreshing Kali Hart Chardonnay. It will go perfectly with lunch. Tasting fee is $8.50
Bernardus Winery and Vineyard
Just past the Village on the left is the Barnardus tasting room. The wines featured by this winery are made in a Bordeaux style. The owner, Ben Pon is a Dutchman whose goal is to makes wines patterned after the famous Bordeaux region of France. The winery obtains its grapes from various vineyards in Monterey County but its flagship wine, Marinus, is estate grown in the Cachagua wine region of Carmel Valley. Marinus is a highly rated Bordeaux style wine that is 75% Cabernet blended, 20% Merlot, with Petit Verdot and Cabernet Franc added to the blend. The tasting fee is $5.00, or $10 to taste the reserve line of wines. Nearby is the famous and luxurious Bernardus lodge also owned by Ben Pon.
Tasting Room Hours: 11 am – 5 pm daily
Phone: (800) 223-2533, Go to website
Holman Ranch Vineyards
Continue along Carmel Valley Road another mile from Bernardus Winery. The Holman Ranch Vineyards tasting room showcases the estate wines of Holman Ranch which includes Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Sauvignon Blanc, and Rose of Pinot Noir. Extra virgin olive oil produced from fruits of estate Tuscan trees is also available for tasting and purchase.
Tasting Room Hours: 11 am – 6 pm daily
Phone: (831) 659-2640, Go to website
Galante Vineyards is another Monterey winery located deep in the Carmel Valley in an area difficult for visitors to reach. To accommodate visitors, the winery recently opened a tasting room in the city of Carmel. This is a delightful tasting room located off Dolores between Ocean and Seventh Avenue. Although the winery produces several varietals the emphasis is on Cabernet Sauvignon. The Cabernet vineyards are located in the Cachagua region of Carmel Valley. The hot days and cool nights enable the grapes to capture full fruit flavors in the Cabernet grapes. Production of the Cabernet is small in order to ensure quality. The winery produces three labels of Cabernet Sauvignon, each distinctive. The Sauvignon Blanc is also an excellent wine. You can also visit the Galente winery and ranch out at the very end of Carmel Valley Road. It is a long and somewhat tenuous drive.
Tasting Room Hours: 11 am – 6 pm daily
Phone: (831) 624-3800, Galante Vineyards