Words: Ana L. Roman
Photos: Provided by Albatross Ridge
This past Mother’s Day I was overworked, exhausted, and sorely missing mi familia. Fortunately I was blessed by a good friend who came to Carmel to intercept my homesick woes. The cure? A festive and singular experience at Albatross Ridge Tasting Room nestled right in the middle of Carmel-by-the-Sea. Lo and behold, all my lonely woes quickly disappeared. Given my dedicated penchant for old world wines coupled with my inexperience with California wines, I can honestly say this was one of the most elegant new-world wine experiences to grace my taste-buds. The result: my newfound pleasure in discovering local wines and treasuring this corner of the wine world beyond my wildest dreams. One month and change later, I spoke with Garrett Bowlus on his genius and why he’s excited about his participation with CLUB 65.
How’s being a winemaker in Carmel Valley different to say, the rest of the world?
What is so unique to Carmel Valley and the Carmel coast is that we are blessed with a very rare combination of complex uplifted ancient seabed soils along with an amazing microclimate that is perfectly suited to produce balanced and age-worthy Pinot Noir and Chardonnay. A typical summer day at our vineyard is around 72 degrees, and we rarely get above 85 degrees, so we have a very long growing season that allows the vines to slowly ripen and mature fruit to its fullest expression.
What are your personal favorite current releases and past vintages?
We just released our 2013 vintage and I am really thrilled with all of the wines, but I have to say we find ourselves drinking a lot of our 2013 Cuvée Vivienne Pinot Noir which is named after my daughter Vivienne and is an elegant, bright and juicy wine that is sourced from all eight blocks of Pinot Noir at our Estate Vineyard. For past releases we have a very small amount of our 2012 Estate Reserve Pinot Noir in our Library and the wine is just hitting it’s optimal window for enjoyment.
What makes the Albatross Ridge tastings a singular and timeless experience?
We are passionate about sharing our story and wines with everyone that comes into our downtown Carmel tasting room. Because we are family owned and operated, you will usually find myself or my wife Cassia pouring wines. For an unmatched memorable experience, spending time at the vineyard and tasting amongst the vines while overlooking Carmel and the Pacific Ocean only seven miles away is a fantastic adventure.
What’s the true definition of the Club 65 lifestyle experience for you?
For me personally, the Club 65 experience represents some of the best experiences that Carmel and the Monterey Peninsula offers. We are very excited to be a part of the premiere of Club 65 as it represents an unforgettable experience and connection to our local restaurants, wineries and small businesses.
Only less than a month left to Register for the ultimate 65 Magazine Lifestyle experience at CLUB 65