Walk up to the wine tasting bar in the Robert Talbott Vineyards Tasting Room and you will see a wall cabinet full of toy cars, trucks and tractors that were Robb Talbott’s, when he was a little boy. That sets a charming tone for this delightful family-owned winery.
Located at 53 Carmel Valley Road, the tasting room is inviting and comfortable. There is standing room for about 15 people and a seating area for 4 or 5 more. In addition, for those glorious sunny days in the valley, there’s an outside patio garden with seating.
Since there were three of us tasting, we had both the Premium Tasting which costs $7.50 and allows four tastes, and the Standard Tasting which costs $8.50 and gives seven tastes. All Talbott wines are made from Chardonnay or Pinot Noir grapes coming from one of their two estates. One estate named Sleepy Hollow Vineyard is near Gonzales in the Santa Lucia Highlands. The other, Diamond T Vineyard, named after the owner’s restored antique truck, is right up Los Laureles Grade in the valley.
Our servers were very warm and welcoming and could tell we were in need of some education. They told us about the two-sip rule we had heard about before-- one sip to wake up the nose and palate to the taste of the wine, the second sip to really taste the flavors of the wine. We tried it and it worked.
We tasted a variety of wines, many of which were named for family members. We came away with some favorites as well as some food pairing ideas. We liked their crisp Logan Chardonnay which our server thought would be delicious with chicken piccata. LC fancied the 2008 Cuvee Carlotta Chardonnay which our server loved with baked brie. MK leaned toward the 2008 Sleepy Hollow Pinot Noir which we decided would be wonderful with grilled salmon.
How lucky we are to live in a place with so many wonderful family-owned and operated wineries. When you visit this winery, you will be treated to a classy “Talbott Family of Wines.”
For more information on their winery and tasting room, click on www.talbottvineyards.com. And, yes, this is the same family that is known for its silk ties and premier men and women's clothing.