My husband and I spent a weekend in Carmel recently at the Bavarian-style boutique hotel, the Hofsas House. We particularly love this place because of their warm hospitality and its close proximity to Carmel village center. Our room, complete with ocean view and fireplace, was cozy and warm on a chill winter’s night—and a continental breakfast of fresh pastries, fruit and hot coffee is served in the lobby area or can be taken back to the room.
Owned and operated by the Theis family, the Hofsas House is within walking distance of everything Carmel has to offer, including shops, the beach and wine-tasting venues.
Armed with our Carmel Wine Walk, a wine passport put out by the Carmel Chamber of Commerce which allows you to taste wines at nine different tasting rooms in Carmel village for $65—a $90 value, we enjoyed wines at three tasting rooms that day. The passports are sold by the Hofsas House and several other inns in Carmel for $50, making the wine walk an even better bargain.
We loved the 2007 Syrah at Figge Cellars ($26), a sure-fire hit for us, and we bought a bottle to enjoy with dinner at Mundaka—a terrific Spanish tapas restaurant in its own little courtyard.
Peter Figge, who was in his tasting room that day, says he is committed to producing the finest examples of vineyard-designated small-lot production wines from the Monterey AVA (American Viticultural Area), and this shows in his delectable Syrah. With its deep ruby color and flavors of ripe black fruit, the luscious wine was an excellent pairing with our deliciously interesting tapas—prepared by executive chef Brandon Miller.
Figge Cellars also makes Pinot Noir and Chardonnay—all handcrafted and all well worth tasting. A quote about Peter Figge on the winery’s website sums it up. “His passion for wine knows no bounds.”
Figge Cellars tasting room is on Delores Street in Carmel Village. It’s inside the Winfield Gallery, so you get to experience wonderful artwork and taste wine at the same time. Hours: 1-6 p.m. Tuesday to Thursday; noon to 6 p.m. Friday to Sunday. Figgecellars.com.
Mundaka Spreads Its Wings
We returned to Mundaka the next morning to try coffee at the newly opened Mundaka coffee shop—where the coffee is top-notch and the breakfast pastries are delicious. Cheese or ham sandwiches are also available—made with superb miniature baguettes from Lafayette Bakery & Café, a new bread shop in The Barnyard in Carmel, which will my stopping off point next time I’m down that way. Mundaka has also opened a bar next door to its restaurant—a lively spot in what has become a go-to hub in Carmel village. Mundaka, San Carlos Street & 7th Avenue, Carmel, 831-624-7400. Mundakacarmel.com.