|Pietra Santa Winery|
Mt Harlan (the location of the limestone soil and vineyards for Calera), we came upon the winery and tasting room for Calera. I held out hope that Josh Jensen would be there to greet us, but no luck.
|Start of the wine cave at Calera|
Next, we drove back down the road, and turned at a group of large warehouse (which I'll talk about soon), and headed up the road. The road was lined by vineyards, and olive trees, and we ended at what can best be described as a Mission Style building. The temperature was already getting up into the 80's, and there was little shade, so after adjusting our previous wine purchases, to protect them from the heat, we headed into Pietra Santa (Italian for "Sacred Stone").
|Olive Press at Pietra Santa|
|Tasting at DeRose Wineyards|
By now we were getting hungry, and we had planned ahead with coolers full of cheese, meats and chocolate (we knew this area was a bit remote, and finding food might be a challenge). Al DeRose offered us two bottles of wine for lunch, and in return, we gave him most of our leftover food.
|Lunch outside DeRose|
As we drove back to Monterey, I diverted into the town of Salinas, to seek out Star Market. I was looking for a specific wine, and was told that this grocery store not only had the best selection of wines in the region, but also the best prices. Both were correct. Unfortunately, the Lucia Pinot Noir (from the Pisoni Family) was sold out. I'll have to keep searching.
|Casanova Wine Cellar|
After dinner, the Maitre d' invited us to visit the 30,000 bottle wine cellar. The collection of wines is extensive, and covers all wine regions and all price points. A real treat for a group of wine enthusiasts.
As it always seems to happen, we had to head back home. We drove back the "long way" by driving up Carmel Valley, We had hoped to stop at a few wineries on the way back, but as we found out, most are not open on Monday, and don't open until 11:00. So, no stops, but we did find that most are located closer to the ocean, and once you get back in the valley, not a whole lot else is there.
Lastly, we made two quick stops in Paso Robles. The first was at Castoro Cellars to meet up with some friends who were staying in Cambria, and then a quick stop at Tobin James. I must add an observation that most in Paso Robles are tired of hearing...but its' true. The alcohol levels in the hotter Paso Robles region were a shock to the taste buds, after coming from the cooler Monterey region, where alcohol stays around 13 to 15% (versus the 16 to 17% we had with most of the Tobin James Zinfandels).