Carmel Road was founded in the late 1990's in Monterey on California's central coast; their first vintage was released in 1999. The name of the winery was inspired by a winding back road that stretches from the town of Carmel by the Sea, passing through the Arroyo Seco canyon and gaps in the Santa Lucia hills, and so connects the inland vineyards to the Pacific Ocean.
Monterey is a cool climate region where the maritime influence of the bay creates the perfect conditions for the three grape varieties that Carmel Road grow, Chardonnay, Pinot Noir and Cabernet Sauvignon, which come from four sustainably farmed vineyards situated at between 300 and 500 feet above the Salinas Valley floor. Ricon, their most northerly vineyard planted on iron-rich decomposed granite with clay-loam topsoil, produces wine with pure aromatics and very good acidity. Clark Ranch, within the Arroyo Seco AVA of Monterey County, planted on alluvial soils spread with sand and gravel loam over ancient riverbed pebbly stones, creates elegant and spicy wines with a mineral quality. Hacienda on the eastern floor of the Salinas Valley, planted with Chardonnay on course, deep granitic soils, imparts lush tropical pineapple flavours. Panorama planted with Pinot Noir on sandy-loam soils, benefits from micro-terroirs, allowing for the production of intense, complex and richly-textured wines. Carmel Road make highly expressive wines in an artisan style – the essence of Monterey's unique coastal vineyards.