While exploring Carmel Valley, just 10 miles from Carmel-by-the-Sea, you’ll find rolling ranch land, over 20 wineries and tasting rooms, plus great restaurants and resorts. Don’t miss:
Earthbound Farms Farm Stand Market & Organic Cafe: I buy their products in Chicago. Make sure to visit the Farm Stand Market & Organic Cafe where it all started. In the Cafe, you will find salads, soups, sandwiches, coffee drinks and frozen yogurt. You can also walk through some of the gardens including the herb garden. 7250 Carmel Valley Road.
Carmel Valley Village has the biggest concentration of restaurants and tasting rooms. Stop by Cowgirl Winery at 25 Pilot Rd. I had their Georis Rose at their restaurant, La Bicyclette in Carmel and loved it. They also have the Corkscrew Cafe in Carmel Valley which I was told is excellent. The outdoor patio is really lovely. 55 W. Carmel Valley Rd.
Bernardus Winery: Until recently they were owned by the same company as the Lodge. Now the hotel has separate ownership. The tasting room is a short drive east. Don’t miss tasting their Marinus blend which is a wonderful blend of Cabernet Sauvignon, Merlot, Petit Verdot, Cabernet Franc and Malbec. 5 West Carmel Valley Road.
Bernardus Lodge & Spa: This is a lovely lodge in Carmel Valley that has a casual bar plus a farm-to-table restaurant. I enjoyed their Wickets restaurant, which is now called Lucia Restaurant & Bar. It is a lovely spot, for lunch as I explored the Valley. There is great outdoor seating as well overlooking the croquet lawns.
Other good hotel options in the area include the Carmel Valley Ranch just outside of Carmel and the Quail Lodge which both have a golf focus. On 500 acres, Carmel Valley Ranch has a beautiful restaurant with views of their vineyard below.
Chateau Julien winery has been taken over by Folktale Winery & Vineyards. Tours, tastings and special events are offered. They make a number of red, whites, sparkling wines and rosès. 8940 Carmel Valley Rd.