Posted on: Tuesday, September 13, 2011 8:00 AM
by Allyson Ryan
Recently the winemaker for award-winning Joullian Vineyards invited us to experience the intricate process of creating Joullian wines.
We began our adventure at Joullian’s tasting room in quaint Carmel Valley Village, just 20 minutes from Monterey. I instantly fell in love with their adorable European stone cottage with its fabulous enchanted windows.
Deb and Bob, who hold down the fort at the tasting room, graciously greeted us like family. While I chatted with them and tasted some fabulous chilled Zinfandel Rosé, a gorgeous scenic photo hanging above a few wine bottles grabbed my attention. Deb told me that the photo was taken by winemaker Ridge Watson at the vineyard, which would be our next stop.
Mr. Ridge Watson himself accompanied the excited clan on the drive to his winery and vineyards in Cachagua. On the 45-minute drive, Ridge kept the crowd entertained with stories from Carmel Valley and the history of Joullian wines in particular. The Joullian and Sias families teamed up with Ridge in an effort to create some of the finest estate wines in the world. Joullian purchased the Cachagua property in 1982 which is currently home to 40 acres of vineyards with grape varietals including Cabernet Sauvignon, Sauvignon Blanc, Merlot, Zinfandel and Cabernet Franc.
After the scenic and windy ride we arrived at our destination, and boy was it worth it! The photo in the wine tasting room was just a small taste of the vineyards and oak trees lining rolling hills. And did I mention that it overlooks the entire Carmel Valley?
Before we got too side-tracked Ridge escorted us into the winery. We tasted wine straight from the barrel and learned about each from the winemaker himself. The wine from the barrel didn’t go down as smooth as the wine from the bottle but nevertheless it was still delicious.
Once we were satisfied with the fruits of his labor we took a stroll through the vineyards where we dove deeper into the process of winemaking and growing.
Luckily I had saved room for lunch which was also paired with,you guessed it, Joullian wine. Ridge and his staff had set up a fabulous lunch near his home which is surrounded by postcard- quality views.
I was in denial once it was time to round up the troops and head back to Monterey. I am pretty sure I have found a little slice of heaven right in Monterey County!
Want to experience the decadent wines of Joullian? Visit their tasting room in Carmel Valley Village off of Carmel Valley Road on Village Drive. Planning a big event? Maybe a small wedding? Guests can use the gorgeous backdrop of Joullian’s vineyard in Cachagua for any special event. Amy Love, firstname.lastname@example.org, will be happy to help you with your event needs.
As the Content Manager at the Monterey County Convention & Visitors Bureau, Allyson manages digital marketing and social media for SeeMonterey. If she's not taking scenic pictures around the county, you are likely to find her on the Monterey Bay Coastal Rec Trail, sipping wine in Carmel Valley or hiking at Fort Ord National Monument.