When you think Rose', what image comes to mind? Poolside lounging with a glass of Rose'? Or maybe a patio barbeque and salad night. But how about a new twist. Imagine half a dozen winemakers bundled up in jackets in a Salinas production room, tasting Rose' from foil wrapped bottles.
A group of local Monterey County winemakers recently met for a varietal tasting of their current release Rose' wines. Kim Stemler, Executive Director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association (MCVGA link) coordinated the gathering; from the winemakers, to the tastings, to the charcuterie small bites.
The MCVGA offers tasting room-maps, hosts events, and provides winery info for visitors and tasters. It's also a network for growers and vintners who gather with colleagues for tastings, meetings and events. Building relationships with other wine makers and industry peers makes for more community in the Monterey County wine industry—which makes for better wines for us fans.
Russel Joyce, winemaker at Joyce Vineyards, hosted the gathering. Joyce's tasting room is in beautiful Carmel Valley where the fun happens. The production site is in Salinas, where the work happens. But my guess is they keep work fun as well.
Winemakers brought their Rose' wines from the 2017 harvest. Some wines were bottled, and for those who will soon bottle, they brought Rose's in an impromptu bottle with a hand labeled sticker. This is keeping it real.
For the blind tasting, the bottles were foil wrapped and numbered. Winemakers poured, tasted each others' wines, then spat. They have to be good at spitting since they work with wine, barrels, and forklifts all day! After the tasting, a casual chat opened up about each wine.
And now, some Monterey County Rose's:
The reveal! The foil came off, and the ah-has exclaimed.
A second round of quick tastings opened the door for follow up comments and questions:
vineyard locations, production techniques, and varietals, to name a few.
Some wineries are located in the Salinas Valley, some tucked in the
Santa Lucia Highlands, and another, Folktale Winery and Vineyards is less than six miles from the ocean. All these factors make for a beautiful, varied selection of Rose's.
Each winemaker is unique, and their collaboration enhances the wines we are fortunate to enjoy!
As you pour your next bottle of Monterey County Rose',
I'll join you in a toast to the winemakers who share their craft with us.
Best to you on your jaunt for Monterey County &
For more tasting rooms, visit my Monterey Wineries page.
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