An aged old-vine root stock is part of the signage, and herbs spill out of the brick planters in front of the cottage style tasting room. The top half of the barn style door and the paned windows open onto Mission Street, welcoming in the fresh coastal air. I had to pinch myself and remember I was in Carmel on a foggy day, not in Europe.
De Tierra Vineyards is a small family owned winery that sources their grapes from Monterey County. When they say De Tierra which means of the land, they indeed mean the wines are crafted from Monterey County soil. In the late '90's founding father Tom Russel began his organic vineyards with his first plantings of Merlot in the Corral de Tierra Valley, south of the Salinas Valley. Now, Anna Russel and team carry on De Tierra in memory of her father.
The 6½ acres of vineyards are situated between Salinas and Carmel Valley and are SIP certified (Sustainability in Practice): http://www.sipcertified.org/. SIP certified businesses are know to be particularly focused on the well being of the environment, its employees, and its business practices. De Tierra demonstrates this with solar panels, an aquifer, lavender plantings, and the release of lady bugs in the vineyards instead of pesticides.
The Russel Collection signature style wines are made from Estate grown fruit. The Monterey Collection wines are sourced exclusively from Monterey County growers. Here you'll still find high quality combined with a more economical price. Chardonnay and Pinot Noir are their core wines.
To read about other Monterey County wines, go to http://www.calwinejaunt.com/monterey-region.html
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