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Talbott Vineyards Winemaker Harvest Experience: A Taste of the Grape Harvesting Process

Image Source: Kitreel / Shutterstock

Recently, Talbott Vineyards hosted a three-day Harvest Experience at their Sleepy Hallow Vineyard in the rolling hills of Carmel Valley. The event included wine tastings, laughter, and delicious food.

This was a special opportunity for the public to meet the female winemaker, Kamee Knutson, and experience what it’s like to be a “Winemaker For A Day.” Talbott Vineyards was founded by apparel entrepreneurs Robert and Audrey Talbott in 1982. With the help of their son Robb Talbott, they created a boutique winery known for its exceptional Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines. The winery has since been acquired by the family-owned E.&J. Gallo.


Guests were warmly welcomed by winemaker Kamee Knutson, who guided them into the Talbott Tasting Room. Kamee, a charismatic winemaker, initially had dreams of becoming an architect. However, after taking an elective class on winemaking, she fell in love with the craft and decided to pursue a career in winemaking.

Kamee now has over 20 years of winemaking experience and specializes in crafting estate-grown Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines inspired by the traditions of Burgundy. She oversees two estate vineyards at Talbott – Sleepy Hallow Vineyard and Diamond T – and is responsible for all aspects of the winemaking process, from harvesting to bottling.


The first day of the Harvest Experience began with a welcome reception at the Sleepy Hallow Tasting Room, where guests were served a glass of Talbott’s floral Rose’. This 2022 Rose’ is made with 100% Pinot Noir grapes from the Sleepy Hollow vineyard and offers a delightful blend of stone fruit, strawberry, and citrus flavors.

After the reception, guests embarked on a tour of the winemaking facility, led by Kamee. They got to see the barrels, tanks, and bottling production line, and learned about the entire winemaking process. The tour also included a visit to Kamee and Ben’s wine lab, where they conduct routine analyses to ensure the quality of their wines.

Following the tour, guests participated in a wine blending class led by Kamee and Ben. They tasted different Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines and learned about the different flavor profiles. Using their newfound knowledge, guests had the opportunity to blend their own wines and take them home as souvenirs.


After the blending class, guests enjoyed a Wine Harvest lunch prepared by The Pocket in Carmel-by-the-Sea. The Pocket is known for its creative culinary pairings with local wines and offers a unique dining experience. In the evening, there was a Wine Harvest Dinner at The Pocket, where guests enjoyed a multi-course meal paired with Talbott’s finest Chardonnay and Pinot Noir wines.


The Pocket also offers luxury apartment-style hotel accommodations behind the restaurant and Talbott Tasting Room. The residences are beautifully furnished and can be rented individually or as a whole for various celebrations. Guests have easy access to The Pocket restaurant, Talbott Tasting Room, and the Pacific Ocean.


During the Harvest Experience, guests stayed at the luxury Pebble Beach Resort, Inn at Spanish Bay. The resort is located on the picturesque California coastline and offers stunning views of the surrounding golf course. Guests can enjoy activities such as golf, tennis, swimming, biking, and beach walks during their stay.


Every evening, guests at Spanish Bay can witness a bagpiper playing at the first tee of The Links at Spanish Bay. This musical tradition adds a touch of magic to the sunset hours. Guests can also indulge in the delicious cuisine at Roy’s Hawaiian-Fusion restaurant, known for its unique dishes and refreshing cocktails.


The next day, guests gathered at the Sleepy Hallow Vineyards to participate in the harvest activities. They had the opportunity to pick grapes and test their sugar content to determine the optimal harvest time. Winemaker Kamee emphasized the importance of being adaptable to Mother Nature’s timeline and adjusting plans accordingly.

By the end of the Harvest Experience, participants gained a deeper understanding of winemaking and had unforgettable experiences with the talented team at Talbott Vineyards. Those interested in tasting Talbott wines can visit the Talbott Tasting Room in Carmel-by-the-Sea, where they can enjoy a variety of wines and learn more about the winemaking process.

Image Source: Kitreel / Shutterstock

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