We recently vacationed to the Monterey Bay area for Spring Break. We have received official notification from the Army that Monterey will become our new home later this summer and we couldn’t be more excited! The climate, waterfront, and culture are all appealing attributes of the area, but most appealing for me is wine country! Our recent visit was short but I knew that no visit would be too short to fit in a winery tour.
Winery tours are always a treat but not quite as enjoyable with kids. Typically, bringing kids to a winery results in disapproving looks, scoffs and delayed service. So, I knew that since not bringing our kids was not an option, I needed to find a family-friendly winery in the area. Quick Google searches of family-friendly wineries in the Monterey County all point to Folktale Winery in Carmel, California.
I reached out to Mr. Chris Whitman, Director of Business Development and Marketing at Folktale Winery. Chris was incredibly accommodating and welcoming to our group and arranged for a private tour with their winemaker, Mr. David Baird, as well as an exclusive tasting.
We arrived at Folktale Winery on a Friday afternoon and immediately recognized that the grounds, beautifully and naturally landscaped, were going to be accommodating for our group, which consisted of six adults and four rambunctious children. We were lucky that a picnic table was available for us to await our tour under a large tree with access to cornhole boards – a perfect setup when kids are in tow!
Upon starting our tour, we met the Folktale Winery Winemaker, David Baird. I am always excited to meet the winemaker of a winery because I have found that they are who I relate to most. They are the artists and scientists behind the wine and typically are incredibly down-to-earth. They have poured their heart into each bottle that we drink and invest the labor into its production. David was no exception to this description and his passion was evident in his willingness to share great details of every step in their production process. A few examples of the fun details of wine production at Folktale Winery include:
- Folktale Winery recently purchased several concrete containers for wine fermentation. I was not aware of this containment method and David explained concrete’s positive attributes towards temperature regulation.
- The grapes on the Folktale Winery Estate are exclusively Sangiovese (a non-traditional varietal for California wine production), though Folktale grows other varietals on off-site properties.
- David has the flexibility to experiment with small batch production and is currently aging a carbonic Sangiovese, which I was lucky enough to taste during my visit!
As for the tasting, I found Folktale Wines to be pleasantly different from many California wines. We enjoyed a modified version of the Folktale Flight, which consisted of the 2018 Folktale Estate Rosé (released only one week prior!), the 2017 Folktale Sauvignon Blanc, the 2017 Folktale Estate Chardonnay, the 2017 Le Mistral Viognier, a special feature of David’s Carbonic Sangiovese, the 2017 Le Mistral Grenache, and the 2016 Folktale Chalone Pinot Noir. All of these tastings were fabulous, but in particular, the Rosé, Sauvignon Blanc and Pinot Noir were the top of my list mostly because of their uniqueness when compared to traditional representations of their respective varietals.
Most importantly, the complete experience with bringing our entire family to a winery was more enjoyable than I could have ever imagined. Folktale’s grounds are accommodating for free-movement of energized kids (or pets), the atmosphere is casual and welcoming, and their wines are unique and approachable. I look forward to many more visits to Folktale Winery upon our assignment to Monterey! Cheers!
More information about Folktale Winery can be found at their website, folktalewinery.com.