.Indulge in the Luxury of Bernardus 2021 Pinot Noir

Exploring the hidden gems of Carmel Valley

A trip to Carmel means lots of opportunities for wine tasting. Both Carmel-by-the-Sea and Carmel Valley are overflowing with beautiful wineries and tasting rooms.

We always stay at the Hofsas House on Ocean Avenue and San Carlos. A welcoming atmosphere awaits you in this family-owned inn, along with a tasty breakfast of pastries, fruit and yogurt served in the lobby. There’s plenty of parking, and it’s an easy walk into the center of town—making tasting rooms and restaurants very accessible. On a chilly day, lighting a fire in our room with the provided logs was marvelous. Opening a bottle of Bernardus Pinot Noir and enjoying a glass in our cozy room was perfect.

Bernardus Winery produces superb wines, and it’s a beautiful drive from the Hofsas House to their location in Carmel Valley. The 2021 Santa Lucia Highlands Pinot Noir ($22) is a lush mouthful of rich and expressive vino with intense red fruit flavors and aromatic spice notes—ripe cherry, plum and strawberry aromas round out this outstanding wine.

Bernardus is well worth visiting—pair tastings with savory appetizers such as a cheese and charcuterie plate for $20.

Bernardus Winery, 5 West Carmel Valley Road, Carmel Valley, 831-298-8021. bernardus.com

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MEZZALUNA PASTERIA

One of our favorite restaurants is Mezzaluna; our recent dinner there was outstanding. Chef Soerke Peters excels at preparing his famous mozzarella and various exceptional pasta. His flavorful gelatos are excellent, and the house-made bread is the best. Co-owned by Peters and Amy Stouffer, no stone is left unturned to ensure customers have a superb dining experience with perfectly prepared cuisine. Mezzaluna’s food simply dazzles!

Mezzaluna, 1188 Forest Ave., Pacific Grove, 831-372-5325. mezzalunapasteria.com

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