Driving into the Carmel Valley as you leave Carmel, you will see a very impressive white building that looks like it should be in France, you have arrived at Chateau Julien. It is a beautiful setting, very serene on the day that we were there, though I am sure if it was during the harvest season, it would be much livelier.
We took a tour of the winery and were shown how they arrange the planting of the vines; we saw the aging room filled with barrels of assorted wines waiting for the proper maturation, so they could be bottled. The tour was very educational and every question was answered in a professional manner. We finally arrived in the tasting room, where we sampled some of the wines that were for sale.
We tried the following wines from them, and they all carried the Monterey County appellation. We tried two different Chardonnay wines, one from 2000 and a 2001 that was barrel fermented (this one we enjoyed more). We also had a 2000 Pinot Grigio and a 2000 Gewurztraminer. The Pinot Grigio was light and refreshing and the Gewurztraminer had the spice taste that I look for in this particular varietal. As a bonus, because we had booked the tour in advance we were poured a special wine that is not offered in the regular tasting; this was a 1997 Private Reserve Chardonnay Sur Lie which was wonderful. This wine was made to be cellared, instead of instant gratification. We ended up purchasing a mixed case of the all the wines we had a chance to taste. It would be on my list of wineries to see if you are in the area.