Thursday, June 2, 2011

Chock Rocks

         There is a new kid in town…that is Chock Rock Vineyard Tasting Room.  Located right next to Toast at 1 Delfino Place in downtown Carmel Valley Village, this tasting room was rocking last Saturday afternoon. Locals, folks from town and tourists were heartily enjoying the wines on this summery day. 
We have anxiously been awaiting the opening of this tasting room because we have been enjoying the Chock Rock Syrah for the past year at Wills Fargo Restaurant and now we can sample more.   
We were greeted by the winemaker/owner, Dan Karlsen’s wife, Kathy and his daughter.  They make a good team and were keeping the crowd happy inside and out.  This family winery is seven years old and uses the name “Chock Rock” from the local’s term for the type of soil and rock found in the vineyard at the upper end of Carmel Valley Road, close to Arroyo Seco.
The tasting menu has five wines for $5 or one wine for $2.  We wanted to try all.  We started with the 2009 Chardonnay which comes from the Santa Lucia Highlands and is 100% barrel fermented.   We all said, “Yum” to the deliciously citrus yet non-buttery flavor of this wine.  The fruit was the star.  Next were three Pinots; a ready to drink, a top of the lot, and a Library wine.  Our favorite was the 2007 Pinot Library.  It said to our palates:  strawberries, full body, low tannins…delish!   The last wine to taste was the Syrah which we already knew we liked.  At $18 a bottle and only 100 cases remaining, we will be stocking up on this lovely red.
A unique feature of the vineyard is that Chock Rock is self contained.  That is, they have their own bottling capabilities right on the site.  So the entire process happens there, from start to finish. 
Kathy told us the website, , is “in progress,” at the moment but should be up and running shortly. And, the wine club is coming soon as well.  If you want more information, you might have to visit the tasting room, call 831 659-4725 or email
 Rock On!

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