Normally when I get a new shipment from my wine club “A Taste of Monterey” is always a good time. Unfortunately as I am finally getting around to writing about some wines that arrived in December, I find that the winery has closed down, there was no mention about it, in the newsletter from the club, but I went to their website and to their Facebook page and both had announcement that they were shut down, with no further explanations, other than it was an enjoyable experience for them.
Through my membership, I have received three other wines from this winery; Chardonnay Tondre Grapefield 2012, Meritage Lockwood Oaks Vineyard San Antonio Valley AVA 2010 and a Private Reserve Pinot Noir Santa Lucia Highlands 2007. Their first harvest was in 2005 and that they were old school, in that they harvested by hand and used a mix of new and used French Oak barrels. Another interesting side note, and things that I really enjoy learning about, was that their tasting room was once the post office for Carmel Valley. I am sure that this may be the last bottle of wine that I discuss from this winery, unless my club buys up the remaining inventory, which I know that they have done in the past.
In 2001, Dick Lumpkin, a business man and resident of Carmel Valley planted three acres of Pinot Noir and a half acre of Pinot Gris on his Hilltop Ranch. He then contacted Annette Hoff to nurture the new winery and she has been with the winery since then. In 2017 he also had a chance to buy some fruit from the Heller Vineyard that has been organically farmed since the ‘70’s. The Cima Collina Heller Merlot/Cabernet Sauvignon Carmel Valley 2017 is a blend of fifty-four percent Merlot and the balance is Cabernet Sauvignon. There was a total production of three-hundred-twenty-seven cases of wine. The aging potential for this wine is suggested for ten to fifteen years, by the time of maturity the wine will be long gone. I do hope that there will be another winery to take their place in the future.