CRUSH TIME… It’s wine grape harvest season, starting with grapes for sparkling wine, with wineries like Hahn and Scheid already picking. The Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association calls it the 101st year of harvesting grapes for commercial wine-growing in the region.
IN VINO VERITAS… Speaking of wine grapes, there’s a new winery at 25 Pilot Road in Carmel Valley. Fox and Blue Fox Cellars have taken over the previous home of Talbott. While remodeling is still underway, their Italian-style wines are ready for tasting outdoors. They are also working on some craft beer releases, expected soon.
PLEIN AIR… More outdoor wine drinking (there’s a theme, isn’t there?) news: Hahn Family Wines’ remodeled tasting room in Soledad will expand from serving members only to opening to the general public on Aug. 27 – great timing with the heat wave generating a craving for chilled whites and rosés. The Carmel location is currently open with an outdoor patio, but nothing beats the view of the vineyards. (If you’re heading down River Road to taste, note that as of press time, the stretch from Highway 68 to Chualar River Road is closed to nonessential traffic as Cal Fire and others battle the River Fire – and wherever you are, yield to emergency vehicles.)
SMOKEY SKIES… Smoke does not necessarily mean damage to the flavor of the wine grapes. “Although this has been a challenging year for humans, it’s been a positive year for wine grapes locally,” shares Kim Stemler, executive director of the Monterey County Vintners & Growers Association. (See story, p. 26, for more.)
SOUR CREMA… On Aug. 17, Crema, the popular Pacific Grove brunch spot known for its iconic bacon Bloody Marys and huevos rancheros, announced that they will be closing their Lighthouse Avenue location by the end of September. A bright spot in that bad news: Crema is looking to take over as the Point Pinos concessionaire, but they need buy-in from the P.G. City Council. They’re urging their fans to reach out to the electeds in support.
HOIST A GLASS… The Beerded Bean in Salinas has a new happy hour special. From Thursday to Saturday, 64-ounce beers to-go are $20. Outdoor seating is still not possible due to ongoing construction in Oldtown, but they are working on it. Beer in cans is also available, or if you’re looking for a morning beverage, try the iced coffee to start these hot mornings off cool and caffeinated.