Carmel Soiree: Monterey Winemakers' Celebration

Make merry in early May while attending "Monterey Wine Camp."

VINO MEET-UPS... can happen in all sorts of settings, from conference rooms at hotels to beach-facing bluffs. But few spots are as singular, and identifiable, and all-out charming as where the Monterey Winemakers' Celebration will land on the first Sunday in May. Perhaps you've heard of this place, dream of this place, are downright obsessed with this place, and long to get back: Carmel-by-the-Sea. That's right, this is a wine to-do that takes places right in the heart of the cottages-and-secret-alleys village, at Dolores & 7th Streets. And, that's right again, you don't have to stick to where you're standing as you sip your Blair Estate or Joyce Vineyards wine; you're welcome to saunter about on the lanes and byways that have been closed for the event, participating in that time-honored Carmel tradition of lookie-loo-ing. (Oh yes, and breathing in that soft beachy air that the village is known for, yet another tradition that can go in the time-honored category.) It's...

YEAR 25... for the long-runner of a wine party, and a caboodle of Monterey County's top libations will be out for the trying (the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association is the organizer behind the event). A chance to try the "Best Pinot Noirs in California" is also on the roster, as is the brand-new Monterey Wine Camp, where you can delve into a host of "fun and informal activities" like discerning between oaked or unoaked chardonnay. A bevy of cuisine-making spots'll join the vintners, so stoke your appetite then enjoy a nosh from Il Fornaio or Poke Lab. Tickets start at $35, and end at $125, and the impressive list of regional beverage and bite pros is up and ready to be perused. And, as far as perusing goes, the village of Carmel-by-the-Sea is tops, no argument there. To do so with a glass of wine in hand, or a slice of something dessert-y, on a spring Sunday afternoon? A pure, undiluted pleasure, surely.

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