As we're sure you already know, the tasting room in Carmel-by-the-Sea was able to open for sit-down tastings last week. We are operating on slightly reduced hours now so please check online or email/call ahead to let us know you're coming if possible.
However, what we really wanted to announce is the best way to socially distance, get outdoors AND taste wine all in one go. Call it "tail gate tastings", "rent-a-row" or whatever you'd like; but, in the coming weeks we are going to be available for Justin and/or Kori to host you in one of our Santa Lucia Highlands vineyards. The exciting part is that you'll also get to learn about our larger ranches which not only contain our vineyards but also lemon and avocado orchards. Guests will also get some homemade SLH guacamole* using those same avos and lemons - buy enough wine & we may send you home with some stuff to make your own!
This is something that we plan to be able to offer through the summer & up until harvest time. After that point as weather becomes more unpredictable we still are looking for ways to let you experience more of the Santa Lucia Highlands beyond the fantastic wines. Please contact us in advance firstname.lastname@example.org with your prefered date(s) & time(s) and we will send you a link in order to pay the tasting fees in advance to secure your reservation. Right now some available dates (but not entirely limited to) include: June 21st-24th, June 26th-28th, July 2nd & 3rd. We are not available July 5-12th but after that through the end of July and August most weekends should be available.
As I'm sure you have seen the shelter-in-place restrictions are being lifted in Carmel/Monterey County and that means the tasting room will be able to receive guests for sit down tastings starting this Friday June 12th.
As we slowly start to open we understand that we have to manage health, social distancing & demand - so in doing so the new temporary hours for the tasting room will be:
Sunday & Monday: 12-5
Tuesday: By Appointment*
Wednesday: By Appointment*
Friday & Saturday: 12-7
Each week there have been conference Zoom calls with the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association working with state and city officials to develop the health & safety protocols that allow us to open. Much of your tasting experience will remained unchanged but we ask that:
Walk ins are welcome. But, with reduced capacity, if possible please let us know in advance if you are coming, especially on the weekends.. Please make a reservation via email, call the tasting room or any messaging on our social media platforms. Unless it's a by appointment day we do not require anything up front. We would just like to manage everyone's expectations given that we'll be juggling spacing people out for social distancing. On busier days when we are allowing up to 45 minutes for a tasting so that there is time to clean and arrange for the next group. *For by appointment tastings there may be a certain level of commitment we ask & please let us know 24 hours in advance for Tuesday & Wednesdays.
For all Monterey County tasting rooms guests are asked to not seat themselves. Lucky for us we already have a Dutch door so most likely the top part will be open and when you arrive someone will seat you or motion you to come in. Masks are required to enter but once your tasting begins may be removed--all Monterey County tasting rooms have this protocol.
Menus and pamphlets are not allowed to be set/re-used so we will have them up on chalk boards but will be available if you want a printed menu to write tasting notes, take with you, etc. Similarly, breadsticks will not be communal but are still from Claudio's Bakery and will be in 2 stick packs available on request.
We are sure you've had communication from other wineries; so, as to not bore you with more of the same details you can be sure that all of the additional cleaning, sanitation & precautions to safely welcome back guests are being put into place. If you have any specific questions or concerns please don't hesitate to ask.
Since we know many people have spent a lot of time at home & as a way to socially distance we are also going to be announcing vineyard "tail gate tastings". We are still working out the details and will send an announcement. It'll be easy to socially distance when you have your own vineyard row to taste in & enjoy!
As the tasting room is opening we will be ending our $1 shipping offer on 3+ bottles this Sunday. Local delivery will be available for 4+ bottle orders. If you haven't bought any wine since the tasting room closed you'll be excited to know that we've moved on to the new vintages for the San Saba Syrah (2018) and Griva Sauvignon Blanc (2019). Our estate SLH Chardonnay will also be coming out soon.
The Anniversary Flight of a bottle of each of the current wines will also be available at the special discounted price through Sunday as well. $175 for a $220 value getting a bottle of Sauv Blanc, Rosé, Pinot Blanc, Syrah, Pinot Noir & a Blanc de Blancs. Father's Day idea for the guy who is hard to shop for!
Hope you can visit soon.
As we sadly can't be open for our anniversary weekend for the Carmel tasting room we decided to have an amazing sale through 4/12. You can take home the current "flight" of all 6 weeks and save over 25% or stock up on mix & match of your favorites. Local delivery is on us & shipping is $1 for all 3+ bottle orders.
Rosemary Lemon Chicken Soup
A family favorite that keeps well and frankly gets better over time: rosemary lemon chicken orzo soup! All simple ingredientssome may not be familiar with the orzo which is just pasta that looks like rice. The amounts and directions below are based on a large stockpot or a 5-7qt Dutch oven - you can adjust as needed.
The soup keeps very well and frankly is even tastier on the second or third day after re-heating. For wines we use our 2019 Pinot Blanc from Arroyo Seco or if you want to get crazy the 2018 Highlands Ranch SLH sparkling blanc de blancs. Either wine is a great pairing with the soup or try one with lunch and one with dinner!
What a week it has been since we sent out a rosy spring email. Given how fast things changed over last week we thought it best to let the dust settle and then reach out with a new update.
The Carmel tasting room is currently closed through April 8th and will update and evaluate accordingly given the shelter-in-place orders. We are offering free local delivery on the Monterey Peninsula and in Carmel Valley & Salinas Valley. We are also offering $1 shipping on all orders of 3 or more bottles. Let's keep Celine & Ashley busy while we are closed to the public!
We were so excited to have a 1 year tasting room anniversary party on the 4th but sadly that will have to be postponed. But, we are now offering an updated last-of-vintage sale for the estate 2014 KW Ranch SLH Pinot Noir ($49). If you guy 3 or more bottles we'll give you 10% off, if you buy 9 or more bottles we'll give you 20% off. The 2014 is in its prime time drinking window right now and was a crowd favorite last month at the World of Pinot -- it still has a few years left in the cellar as well. If you have any issues with the discounts or shipping while ordering online just shoot us an email. (Club KorK members recieve the quantity discount OR their club discount, whichever is greater.)
We're all in this together,
Kori, Kirk & Justin
UPDATE: The Winery Reflections event is canceled & the final call on the SLH Gala has not been made but we imagine it will probably be postponed.
Find us pouring at some upcoming events.
At the SF Wine Chronicle Competition we will have our Double Gold Syrah & Pinot Noir and some current releases. Fans of Pinot (and some Chardonnay) will find us pouring Saturday at the World of Pinot at the Bacara in Santa Barbara. Last year Winery Reflections had their first pop-up tasting at the O'Cairns in Lompoc and we'll be back for that. Save the date once again for the annual SLH Gala that will be held on May 16th.
Tickets are required for all but Winery Reflections.
We will also be at Pigs, Pinot & More 10 year anniversary event on Feb 29th at Jet West!
As we begin to ring in the new year we are excited in 2020 we will be releasing our first ever Pinot Blanc (Arroyo Seco) & Cabernet Sauvigon (Alexander Valley) in addition to adding back a still, estate Chardonnay (Santa Lucia Highlands). In addition to those, 2020 will also include the releases of new vintages of Sauvignon Blanc, Syrah, Rosé, Pinot Noir & blanc de blancs.
Our 2018 Highlands Ranch SLH sparkling blanc de blancs ($45) is officially released and available on the tasting room flight. Bright acidity, lots of citrus, some apples and a zingy minerality. Dosage of 6g/l. It is made exclusively from chardonnay grown at our family owned Highlands Ranch sitting along River Road about a mile & half south of KW Ranch and across from Tondre Grapefield.