Heller Estate

If you’ve wised up about the effects of pesticides, make sure you stop at Heller Estate on a trip through Carmel Valley. They are not only the oldest but the first certified organic vineyards in this valley. They don’t even use herbicides. Vines are fed water from the sky alone so they toughen up quickly, giving more complex flavors to their grapes.

They also have one of the last few Chenin Blancs and it is a delightfully light crisp white wine. A refreshing change from Chardonnay and Sauvignon Blanc, this wine has succulent green apple and guava flavors with an aroma of honeysuckle blossom. Pair it with just about anything including a warm sunny day. Their Pinot Noir has many layers of spice on top of its hallmark cherry and berry flavors. Their Merlot is also a warm soothing black cherry packed libation with ageworthiness even though it does not have added sulfites.

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