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Tuesday, 16 October 2018 14:32

2018 Harvest in Santa Lucia Highlands

TASTE News Service, October 17, 2018 — The 2018 wine grape harvest in the Santa Lucia Highlands appellation, which started in early September, is nearing its end.

Friday, 04 April 2014 13:33

Wine Pick of the Week for April 4, 2014

Caraccioli Brut Rose bottles Picmonkey2007 Brut Rosé

 

Caraccioli Cellars

Santa Lucia Highlands

Alcohol: 12%

Suggested Retail: $57

 

Taste California Travel  discovered this week's 'Pick' on a recent visit to Carmel. In an all-too-brief visit to the winery's tasting room we had time to try the Brut Rosé and a still wine, their 2009 Pinot Noir ($47).

“Most Monterey County wineries are situated close to their vineyards. While they have access to some wonderful fruit, most of the vineyards supplying it are off the tourist track. Lately these wineries have been opening tasting rooms closer to where the visitors are—the City of Monterey, Carmel Valley and the City of Carmel, itself. We'd not visited the Caraccioli Cellars tasting room on Dolores Street in Carmel by the Sea, nor in fact had we even heard of Caraccioli. It was a delightful surprise. Though the room has a sophisticated vibe (appropriate for quality sparkling wine), the servers were friendly, as well as knowledgeable.

“Though Caraccioli Cellars has very small production (less than 1,000 cases of the 2007 vintage of our reviewed wine were produced—759 of the standard 750ml bottles and 115 magnums), it has attracted a world class winemaker, Michel Salgues, who made wine for Roederer Estate for 20 years. He's now doing consulting and works with the Caraccioli's other winemaker, Joe Rawitzer.

“The 2007 Brut Rosé pairs the restrained power of great California fruit with the elegance and style of French Champagne. It's fuller, rounder than any blanc de noirs and even more so than most rosés, but still expresses a delicacy. The rest of the afternoon could happily have been spent tasting other Caraccioli wines—or maybe even having another glass of the rosé—but we'd spent enough time to discover an exemplary sparkling wine.”

Wednesday, 12 June 2013 12:59

Founder of Pessagno Winery Dies

by Dan Clarke

Steve Pessagno by vineyard PicmonkeySteve Pessagno 1958-2013

Taste California Travel  is saddened to hear of the passing of Steve Pessagno. The proprietor of Pessagno Winery in Monterey County died in his sleep this past weekend at age 55.

Though trained as a mechanical engineer, he returned to school take an enology degree at Fresno State. After stints as winemaker at Jekel and Lockwood, Steve was eventually able to begin his own winery, where he made wine from several varieties, most notably Chardonnay and Pinot Noir from the Santa Lucia Highlands.

We shared a table at a dinner sponsored by Monterey wineries about 10 years ago. The meal was spectacular—one of those events featuring so many wines that glasses for the last course might not have fit when the table was set and had to be brought to us later. Of course we talked about the food and the wines—everybody's wines at first and, later, the wines Steve was making at his own winery. The atmosphere was convivial and eventually the conversation moved beyond the evening's food and wine. We talked about family. He told us stories of making wine with his grandfather and of teaching his sons about baseball. Steve Pessagno was an excellent winemaker and warm and decent man.

Memorial arrangements are pending.

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