When we founded Carmel Road in 1997, our goal was to make hand-made wines that showcased the unique flavors and textures of Monterey County. Since that inaugural vintage, we have fine-tuned our farming and winemaking techniques to create wines that are pure, balanced, intensely-flavored and authentic to our extraordinary maritime-influenced region.
A relative newcomer to the California wine landscape, Monterey's Salinas Valley was not planted to grapes until the 1950s. Today, Monterey is considered one of the state's premier appellations for cool climate varieties including Pinot Noir and Chardonnay.
Monterey's climate is influenced by the cold waters (year-round average 50°) of the nearby Pacific Ocean. In addition to the moderate temperatures, the lack of rainfall (a mere 6 to 12 inches per year) promotes more flavor and textural intensity in the fruit.
Each evening the marine layer (fog) is pulled down the valley to the Arroyo Seco Canyon from the mouth of Monterey Bay. This airflow keeps the ambient temperatures quite cool. The wind that blows inland from the ocean begins as early as noon and is often so strong that it slows down vine photosynthesis.
- For even ripeness, we harvest individual rows and blocks of Chardonnay and Pinot Noir separately based upon soil types, exposure, clones, rootstocks and ripening patterns.
- Most of our Chardonnay is barrel fermented on the lees (stirred twice monthly) using a combination of wild and cultured yeasts. A small amount is tank-fermented and blended back to accentuate structure and fresh fruit character.
- For Pinot Noir we use a number of hands-on winemaking methods including cold pre-soaking, open top tank fermentations (with some lots being open-top barrel fermented), wild and cultured yeasts, and aging in primarily French oak barrels of varying toast levels from a variety of coopers.
- Our unique barrel regime, harvest protocols and clonal and rootstock combinations give our winemaker, Ivan Giotenov, more than 110 unique lots from which to create his final blends.
© 2003-2012 Carmel Road Winery