When we walked into the Parsonage tasting room, we were warmly welcomed by one of the vintners’ daughters, Brooke, who we knew and liked from our previous incarnations. She took great care of us from the first pour to the last and obviously loved being part of this family vineyard.
We started our tasting with a white wine, followed by a string of reds. According to Brooke, her father and vintner, Bill Parson, loves making red wines. But he also realized that many people prefer a white wine or are allergic to reds and so he created his Snosrap Chardonnay. It is made with grapes from Carmel Valley, Arroyo Seco and the Santa Lucia Highlands; is floral and smooth; and we both liked it.
We also liked, and bought, the 2008 Snosrap Pinot Noir Monterey County and agreed with Brooke who said it would be great paired with salmon. MK was so proud of herself that she could actually identify “a hint of strawberry.”
The unique bottle labels are photographs of gorgeous quilts created by Mary Parsons, Bill’s wife, and co-creator of Parsonage Village Vineyard. Some of Mary’s artwork is on display in the tasting room.
The Snosrap wines, all non-estate wines, sport the image of Cyrano de Bergerac, that literary character with quite a large nose. How appropriate that the Snosrap by-line is “the nose knows.” Also, Snosrap is Parsons spelled backwards. Clever and wonderful. Each of the estate reserve wines under the Parsonage label is named for one of the Parsons’ four grandchildren—Dario, Bixby, Tanner, and Rocco. We were thrilled that we could actually experience the luscious Rocco Reserve Syrah’s “long pleasant after taste.” Progress!
As we were munching on the spicy pecans that Brooke put out for us to have with the Syrah, her father walked in. What a special treat. In the years since his first planting in 1998 at the vineyard just half a mile down the road, Bill has, as he said, babied his grapes. He believes in quality over quantity, and it is obvious that he loves what he does. We do, too!
The tasting room is at 19 East Carmel Valley Road in Carmel Valley Village (831 659 7322) and is open daily, 11-5. The tasting costs $7 but is waived if you buy $50 worth of wine. For more information on the Parsons family and family of wines, check out the Parsonage Village Vineyard website at www.parsonagewine.com