North Central Coast: Monterey-Carmel, Mt. Harlan, Chalone, Santa Lucia Highlands, Arroyo Seco

These wineries are spread over a vast region but are relatively easy to locate. Arm yourself with good maps or GPS.

Recommended Wineries

Bernardus Vineyards & Winery
Tasting RoomOpen daily 11-5.
Production50,000 cases
WinemakerDean DeKorth
OwnerBen Pon
Comments200 acres owned, 80 acres leased. Established in 1990. Pinot Noir from esteemed Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards including Pisoni, Garys', Rosella's, Soberanes and Sierra Mar.
PoP coverageBernardus Vineyards & Winery
Calera Wine Co.
Tasting RoomOpen daily at 11300 Cienaga Road outside Hollister
Production30,000 cases of Pinot Noir, Chardonnay, Viognier, Aligote.
WinemakerMike Waller
OwnerDuckhorn Wine Company
CommentsAll of the wines from Calera come from estate vineyards except the Central Coast bottlings. A California heritage winery (est. 1976). Age worthy and complex Pinot Noirs of great interest. 75 acres owned. Josh Jensen sold winery he founded in 2017 to Duckhorn Wine Company but continued to be involved.
PoP coverageCalera Wine Co.
Hahn Family Wines
Tasting RoomOpen daily 11-4. Picnic area. Tours by appointment.
Production500,000 cases
WinemakerPaul Clifton
OwnerNicky Hahn
Comments950 acres owned. Est. 1980. Lucienne is the premium wine brand that is a winery within the Hahn Estates winery. Vineyard-designated estate Pinot Noir from Lone Oak, Smith, doctor's and Hook vineyards in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
PoP coverageHahn Family Wines
Morgan Winery
Tasting RoomVisitor Center and Tasting Room in Crossroads Shopping Village in Carmel.
Production7,000 cases
WinemakerGianni Abate
OwnerDan Morgan Lee and Donna Lee
Comments45 acres owned. Long time producers of Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir and Chardonnay and most recently several other varietals.
PoP coverageMorgan Winery
Wrath Wines
Tasting RoomFriday-Monday at Winery Tasting Room in Soledad; Daily at Carmel Tasting Room in Carmel Plaza
Production10,000 cases
WinemakerSabrine Rodems, Byron Kosuge
OwnerBarbara Lemmon, Michael Thomas
Comments68 acres owned. Pinot Noir, Syrah, Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc from estate San Saba Vineyard and other esteemed properties in the Santa Lucia Highlands.
PoP coverageWrath Wines

Recommended Lodging

Bernardus Lodge
CommentsHigh-end, deluxe accommodations with an outstanding restaurant. Expensive.
Highlands House at Pessagno Winery
CommentsLocated on Pessagno Winery Estate, a perfect location for exploring Santa Lucia Highlands and Monterey County wine country.
PoP coveragePessagno Winery
Inn at the Pinnacles
CommentsB&B with six rooms. Weekends only.
Las Laureles Lodge
CommentsRanch house style historic property that is reasonably priced, but a bit rustic. Good restaurant.
Tradewinds Carmel
CommentsA boutique hotel located in the heart of Carmel. Featured in Architectural Digest for its unique fusion of Asian and tropical design. An oasis of calm. 28 luxury rooms, $225-$550 with continental buffet breakfast.

Recommended Restaurants

Bouchee Restaurant & Wine Bar
CommentsFrench Bistro and wine bar/wine store. Local Monterey seafood. Great wine list.
Marinus at Bernardus Lodge
CommentsSuperb gourmet restaurant with extensive winelist (Wine Spectator Grand Award). Highly awarded California cuisine of Chef Cal Stamenov.
Montrio Bistro
CommentsSuperb American bistro.
Restaurant 1833
CommentsExecutive chef Levi Mezick opened the restaurant in 2011 after cooking in top New York City restaurants including Cafe Boulud and Per Se. Named for the date the historic adobe that houses the restaurant was built, the historic property has been lavishly renovated. The American cuisine is based on local ingredients. Wine list has about 500 labels, about one-third from Monterey County, focusing on small producers and rising stars.
Rio Grill
CommentsCasual grill but good, compact wine list and and excellent food. One of my favorites.
The Sardine Factory
CommentsA Monterey institution for years. Everyone needs to go here at least once. Wine Spectator Grand Award wine list.

Picnic Supplies

Farmer's Markets
Wild Thyme Deli & Cafe
CommentsCIA-trained chef making sandwiches. Smoke and roast own meats, quality ingredients.

Appellation Websites