Ultimately, the distinguishing characteristics of any exceptional wine are derived from the terroir of its vineyard sources. The wines of Carmel Road come from a remarkable group of vineyards that lie within the Salinas Valley of Monterey County.
On the western side, the alluvial plain stretches from the mouth of Monterey Bay southward along the eastern-facing benchland fans in the rain shadow of the Santa Lucia range down to the entrance of the Arroyo Seco Canyon. The edge of the Arroyo Seco Canyon narrows into the Carmel Valley and circles back north, opening to the Pacific Coast and its cold afternoon breezes.
The eastern side of the valley sits on the foothills of the Gabilan Range, and constitutes a series of west-facing alluvial hillsides. The wind here is stronger than on the western side, due to the orientation of the valley. The foothills here receive more afternoon sunshine, which promotes a riper fruit profile.
Rincon is the most northerly vineyard to supply fruit to Carmel Road. Situated below the west-facing foothills at the entrance to Chualar Canyon, this sloping vineyard features iron-rich, decomposed granite and clay-loam topsoil derived from the gradual decay of the majestic Gabilan peaks. While often the earliest to bud, vines at this location generally encounter cooler temperatures as the season progresses due to daily morning fog. Planted between 1993 and 1996, Rincon produces wines with pure aromatics and great acidity.
The Hacienda Ranch is located at the base of the Gabilan Range on the eastern floor of the Salinas Valley. The site's coarse, deep granitic soils help restrict water flow to the roots, reducing vine vigor and imparting lush, tropical fruit flavors to the Chardonnay fruit grown here. Planted between 1993 and 1997, this ranch produces well-structured fruit with a telltale tropical, pineapple character.
The Clark Ranch is in the Arroyo Seco appellation of Monterey County. This unique locale, set in the shadows of the Santa Lucia range, is slightly warmer than most vineyards in the valley. The site features alluvial fans of sand and gravel loam over ancient riverbed cobblestones. The unusual, pebbly subsoil provides excellent drainage and contributes to the distinct mineral quality of Clark's wines. The vineyard was planted between 1993 and 1996 with a diverse array of clones and rootstocks. The wines from Clark tend to be silky, elegant, spicy and structured.
© 2003-2012 Carmel Road Winery