My family traveled to Carmel, California earlier this summer for my cousin’s wedding and had the best time. Carmel-by-the-sea is oh so dreamy! From our trip, I’ve also shared what we did in Carmel and shared the cutest two piece set at the Cypress Inn (a Carmel must!). In addition, I wanted to share more about exploring Carmel Valley vineyards. When it comes to California, Napa Valley and Sonoma Valley often get most of the credit for California wine. However, Carmel Valley also has a wealth of delicious and beautiful vineyards. Carmel Valley is just inland from Carmel-by-the-Sea. A visit to the coast in Carmel-by-the-Sea and then a visit to sip some wine in Carmel Valley makes for the perfect little California getaway! Add in a drive south to Big Sur and you’ll never want to leave the area!
Exploring Carmel Valley Vineyards
There are actually tons of vineyards and wineries in the Carmel Valley area. When it comes to wine tasting, you can expect to do some tasting at actual vineyards in Carmel Valley as well as at tasting rooms in Carmel-by-the-Sea. Both are different but wonderfully fun experiences!
Folktale Winery & Vineyards
These photos were snapped at the gorgeous Folktale Winery. Located right in the heart of Carmel Valley, Folktale Winery is the perfect place to spend a whole afternoon wine tasting, enjoying lunch, and touring the vineyard grounds. My cousin actually had his rehearsal dinner at this dreamy fairytale like spot!
Also in the neighborhood, you’ll find Georis Winery. The Georis Vineyards are located twenty miles from the coast but they have a wonderful tasting room done in the style of an old California mission. You can also nibble on meats and cheeses as well as gourmet pizza (the meyer lemon pizza was our favorite!) while at the tasting room. Fun fact: Georis Winery was started by the same man who opened one of my favorite Carmel-by-the-Sea restaurants, Casanova.
Talbott Vineyards has a tasting room right in the heart of Carmel-by-the-Sea that I highly recommend. They are known for their Burgundy-inspired Chardonnay and Pinot Noir. If you consider yourself a connoisseur of either type of wine, then make a point of doing a tasting here.
The Bernardus Winery tasting room in Carmel Valley is a must-visit while bopping from place to place in the valley. However, if you want to elevate your wine tasting experience, then Bernardus Winery offers vineyard tours where you can learn about their winemaking process, try exclusive wines, and dine on yummy food.
Scheid Vineyards has a bright, airy tasting room located right in the hustle and bustle of Carmel-by-the-Sea as well as a second tasting room located at their winery (a little over an hour away from Carmel). The Carmel-by-the-Sea location was actually the first tasting room I ever went to in Carmel. Amazing to note: Scheid Vineyards is one of the region’s most sustainable vineyards.
Holman Ranch Estate Vineyard + Winery
Holman Ranch Estate Vineyard + Winery is actually where my cousin tied the knot. It is truly gorgeous! Their wines are produced start to finish entirely on their property making their tasting in Carmel Valley a special boutique experience. Holman Ranch produces delicious Pinot Noir, Pinot Gris, Chardonnay, Rosé, and Sparkling Rosé so there is something for everyone. You can also tour the vineyards here for a more in-depth experience beyond just standard wine tasting!
Cowgirl Winery is a bit hokey but that is part of the fun. Enjoy wine outside at this laid back tasting room while enjoying the California sunshine and the cornhole games. They also offer some bites or you can bring your own snacks (told you it was laid back).
For more information and inspiration for exploring Carmel Valley vineyards, this guide to wine tasting and tasting rooms is a wonderful resource.
For this wine tasting outing to Folktale Winery & Vineyards, I slipped into a super comfortable little white dress with smocked detailing from Sail to Sable. I accessorized with the cutest gingham sandals from Draper James, my favorite Kayu straw tote, and my go-to Ray-Ban Clubmaster sunnies. I was comfortable all day long in the lightweight dress but also had my shoulders and arms protected from the sun… a win!
Photography by Edwin Eversole