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Carmel vs Carmel Valley?

Cocoa Beach, Florida
Level Contributor
18 posts
33 reviews
Carmel vs Carmel Valley?

My fiancé and I will be spending 2 nights in Carmel this August for our honeymoon and plan to designate an entire day visiting wineries. We initially chose the Monterey/Carmel area over Napa Valley due to the region’s superior natural beauty and the less commercial vibe associated with the Carmel Valley. However, after learning about the town of Carmel’s ‘Wine Walk by the Sea’ Wine tasting passport that offers 10 different tickets at tasting rooms, I’m beginning to wonder if that may be a better option. My fiancé and I definitely appreciate wine, but we are not “winos” in that we would appreciate authentic wineries much more so than Carmel’s tasting rooms. We really enjoy leisurely walking around quaint downtowns, and it seems that we would appreciate spending the day exploring Carmel as part of this wine walk over taking the bus to Carmel Valley where the wineries seem more spread out and the town does not seem as walkable.

Is this a fair assessment or am I not giving enough credit to the town and wineries of Carmel Valley and the experience that could entail? Are there any other enjoyable wineries and/or wine-related experiences in Monterey County not as well known we may enjoy? Any input for those familiar with the area would be greatly appreciated.

3 replies to this topic
Fremont, California
Destination Expert
for San Francisco
Level Contributor
32,864 posts
6,430 reviews
1. Re: Carmel vs Carmel Valley?

While some Carmel Wineries are spread out, there are many where you can park the car or take the wine trolley too and walk between more than a dozen wineries. At the Talbott Winery there is a classic motorcycle collection to see as well. Carmel Valley is a relaxed for the most part seated inside or outside wine tasting. Its very casual and comfortable.

The wine tasting rooms in downtown Carmel are nice too. If you are into art galleries and wine tasting rooms versus a relaxed countryside setting, it is best for that.

Both as such are superb.

California has a lot of wineries and wine tasting rooms. You will find some in Monterey at the Cannery Row area as well.

Either will be nice Both the Carmel Valley and Carmel are wonderful smaller size tasting rooms.

There is a couple of winery tasting rooms also at the Crossroads shopping center.

Its not Napa valley and large style wineries with a wide variety of diverse winery experiences.

The Carmel Valley/Carmel tasting rooms however have good wines, casual tasting, and there are great restaurants in Carmel as well.

Edited: 5:01 pm, June 19, 2017
Carmel, California
Level Contributor
4,771 posts
11 reviews
2. Re: Carmel vs Carmel Valley?

You'll mostly be visiting tasting rooms and not actual wineries in either location. If you want the latter, you need to travel about an hour from Carmel http://riverroadwinetrail.com/ (some are open weekends only).

The main difference between visiting tasting rooms in downtown Carmel vs Carmel Valley is that ones out in the valley often have outdoor patios and the weather is warmer and sunnier in the valley. Also the drive out to the valley is scenic with rolling hills. Most of the tasting rooms in the valley are clustered around the village so it's still very much walkable. I'm not sure how many of the motorcycles, if any, are still at the Talbott tasting room since the museum opened http://www.mototalbott.com/ Talbott sold to Gallo a while back.

Level Contributor
39,085 posts
1,014 reviews
3. Re: Carmel vs Carmel Valley?

Where did you end up? We will be visiting the area soon and would love to hear about your trip! :)

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