Top 5 Wineries to Visit in Carmel Valley Village

Folktale Winery in Carmel Valley Village

Don’t get me wrong: I love Napa and Sonoma. However, California is home to hundreds of wineries across the state and many other wine regions you can explore.

In fact, I prefer going to the smaller wine regions because you can most often get away with walking into wineries for a tasting without a reservation, and the tastings are usually more budget-friendly. (I love you, Napa, but you are a production!)

One wine region that I’ve grown to love over the past few years is the Monterey AVA. It’s located on the Central Coast of California and is home to over 150 vineyards. Within the Monterey AVA, you can visit the Carmel Valley Village, which has several tasting rooms along the main road. I love wine tasting here because the tasting rooms are super close to one another — you can try a bunch of different wines in a few hours. 

If you’re planning a trip to the Central Coast of California in the near future, here are the top 5 wineries to visit in Carmel Valley Village.

Rombi Winery in Carmel Valley Village

Top 5 Wineries to Visit in Carmel Valley Village

Carmel Valley Village: Getting There & Getting Around

Carmel Valley Village is about a 30-minute drive from Monterey and a 25-minute drive from Carmel-by-the-Sea. You will need a car, or a driver, to get there, and I would avoid relying on Uber or Lyft. As always, please drive responsibly, and consider having a designated driver in your party or hiring a driver for the day.

When you get to the Carmel Valley Village, a lot of tasting rooms are located on Carmel Valley Road. They’re all fairly close together, so don’t expect more than 5 minutes of travel time between each tasting room.

P.S. — if you’re wine tasting on a Sunday, make sure to stop by the local Farmer’s Market on the way to the wineries, which is open from 10 AM-2 PM.

Pasonage Winery Carmel Valley Village

Wine tasting at the Holman Ranch Tasting Room in Carmel Valley Village
Wine tasting at the Holman Ranch Tasting Room

Folktale Winery wine bottles

Top 5 Wineries to Visit in Carmel Valley Village

Holman Ranch Tasting Room

This winery absolutely blew me away. So much so that I signed up for their wine club after a couple of sips of their wine.

We wanted to visit their vineyard but couldn’t get a reservation, so we stopped by their tasting room to at least try the wines. There’s plenty of indoor and outdoor seating here, and it was a chic yet relaxed spot to do a tasting. I loved the selection of Pinot Noirs they had — I don’t typically gravitate toward Pinot Noirs, but the range between vintages was absolutely delightful.

Rombi Wine

When my partner and I visited Rombi Wine for the first time a few years ago, before our big move to California, we knew we had to bring back some of their wines for our winemaker friends to try. 

If you can find a 2016 vintage from Rombi, try it. This was the year that the Soberanes Fire ravaged the valley. Most winemakers opted to take the loss, but not Rombi. They proceeded with their harvest, and as a result, the wines have a spectacular, smokey taste. I know this sounds odd, but give it a try. I know it’s not for everyone, but I loved it! 

Parsonage Winery Tasting Room

Parsonage Winery Tasting Room was hands down the coziest tasting room we visited. It’s part art gallery, part tasting room, and overall, a charming spot in Carmel Valley Village.

It’s a boutique, family-run winery that produces big, bold reds on a small scale, so if you’re a white wine fan, this might not be your favorite winery. One of the winery owners is an acclaimed, self-taught textile artist, and you can see her work both in the tasting room and on the bottle labels.

Bernardus Winery

I usually carefully research what wineries I go to ahead of time, but I saw Bernardus, it looked cute, and I decided, why not? I ended up loving it and had a blast at their tasting room.

This winery offers a great balance of white and red wines, so I think this would be an ideal place to visit with a group. Everyone in your party is bound to find a wine that they love.

Folktale Winery

I might be a grown adult, but I still love a good fairy tale. And if you’ve ever wanted to feel like a Disney Princess while wine tasting, Folktale Winery is the spot for you.

Truth be told, I didn’t think the wines here were bad, but I also didn’t find them very memorable either. But, I did like the food, loved the ambiance, and I think it’s still a fun place to check out. 

Have you ever gone wine tasting in the Carmel Valley Village before? Let me know in the comments below!

Photos by Tom McGovern

Leave a Comment


  1. Christine wrote:

    Thank you for all of the recs, I’ll have to check some of these wineries out! And Monterey is seriously one of the most beautiful areas to visit.

    Posted 8.15.22 Reply
    • Alicia wrote:

      I will never get over how beautiful Monterey is!!

      Posted 8.17.22 Reply