Early fall events in Carmel

My good friend who used to live and work in Carmel took me on a stroll through the historic town earlier this month and she found herself nostalgic. I let her relive her days working in the art gallery that has since been taken over by yet another, different gallery, and her evenings full of meeting military men who attended school nearby in Marina. If that wasn’t enough, we had coffee at her old haunt, where she nearly broke down into tears remembering the smell of the place.

It seems if you’ve been in Carmel long enough it sticks with you long after you leave. Here are a few fall events that will make you want to stay in Carmel for longer – or perhaps for life.

Harvest Carmel – September 26-27: A 2-day event celebrating agriculture, viticulture, cheese, and good times; 50 chefs, more than 100 wineries, organic gardening seminars, barbecue seminars, wine tastings, cheese tastings, kid’s interactive kitchen, live music. www.harvestcarmel.com

21st Annual Taste of Carmel – October 1: A celebration of food and wine in the Courtyard of the Mission; tickets are $85. www.tasteofcarmel.com ; #831-624.2522

Carmel Art and Film Festival – October 8-11: Total arts immersion, four days filled with world-class film, music, fine art, and photography, photography, art and film lectures throughout the festival, a two-day art fair in Devendorf Park, a juried photography exhibition at the Marjorie Evans Gallery at the Sunset Cultural Arts Center, films curated by John Cooper (the Director of the Sundance Festival) http://www.carmelartandfilm.com

Carmel Valley wine history and tasting tour

While it may not be as famous on the international wine stage as Napa and Willamette Valleys, the Carmel Valley is home to several world-class wineries. Like many wine growers in northern and central California, producers range from one-person pursuits to big operations, but all have one thing in common: passion for the fruit grown in the area to produce exquisite wine.

A little history
Carmel Valley’s fine climate and fertile soil made it a perfect settlement for Native Americans centuries ago. Later, the Europeans discovered the area and developed it into agricultural land, specializing in pears and walnuts. Then, in the late 18th century, grapes known as the Mission varietal (a red used to make table wine) were planted to make a wine known as Angelica. It wasn’t until the mid 20th century, though, that commercial wine production started. Since then, full-bodied red wines such as Cabernet Sauvignon and Merlot were grown in the valley.

A little taste
To savor the fine wines of Carmel Valley, simply drive along Carmel Valley Road. Most tasting rooms are situated around Carmel Valley Village, while a handful are just a stone’s throw away on Center Street and Cachagua Road.

The following wineries offer tasting facilities and some provide limited menus.
Boekenoogen Winery, 24 West Carmel Valley Road, #831.624.2600, www.boekenoogenwines.com
Chateau Sinnet, 13746 Center Street, #831.659.2244, www.chateausinnet.com
Georis Winery, 4 Pilot Road, #831.659.1050, www.georiswine.com
Heller Estate Organic Vineyards, 69 West Carmel Valley Road, #831.659.6220, www.hellerestate.com
Kovacs Brothers Winery, 36023 Cachagua Road, #831.277.9949, www.kovacsbrothers.com
Otter Cove Winery, 9 Del Fino Place, #831.320.3050, www.ottercovewines.com
Talbott Vineyards, 53 West Carmel Valley Road, #831.659.3500, www.talbottvineyards.com

There are a dozen other wineries in the area! For a complete listing of Carmel Valley wineries and tasting rooms, CLICK HERE.