On a recent stay in Carmel at the Hofsas House, we walked over to the welcoming Carmel Road Winery’s tasting room, where I hoped I would run into Drew Barrymore (wishful thinking!), as the famous movie star features three of her own wines there. The tasting room manager assured me that Barrymore visits the tasting room from time to time, and that “she’s just lovely and knows a lot about wine.”
“I am passionate about wine,” Drew Barrymore says on her wine label. “There is so much to discover and experience, and my travels help me do that.”
Barrymore, acclaimed actress and oenophile, shares a winemaking partnership with Carmel Road winemaker Kris Kato, who grew up in Portland, Oregon and has garnered experience working at wineries on the Central Coast. The two of them craft three varietals—Drew’s Blend Pinot Noir, Monterey Rosé of Pinot Noir, and Monterey Pinot Grigio, a bright, perky wine which I particularly enjoyed.
Pinot Grigio is known for being easy to like and easy to pair, as it matches up with a broad array of food. Barrymore’s Pinot Grigio ($22) is crisp and refreshing with citrus and tropical notes—revealing a tasty blend of honeydew melon and lemon, and an elegant minerality. A screw cap top makes it simple to open.
Barrymore’s other wines are also notable—especially the Rosé with its mouthwatering red-fruit flavors and hints of stone fruit. And the lush and vibrant Pinot Noir sells for only $28. Carmel Road’s tasting room is modern, light and airy—and the staff is upbeat and knowledgeable.
We often stay at the warm and friendly Hofsas House Hotel in Carmel because it’s situated very centrally on San Carlos Street—an easy walk to tasting rooms and good restaurants. After lingering over coffee and continental breakfast at the hotel, we strolled down to the ocean and then to Carmel Road’s tasting room. Although Drew Barrymore was not there at the time, I’ll be going back soon … just in case.
Carmel Road Winery is between Ocean Avenue and 6th Street, Carmel-by-the-Sea, 624-1036. Open daily from 11 a.m. to 6 p.m.