October 10, 2017 - We've been watching in horror as wind-whipped fires raced through the fabled Wine Country of Napa, Sonoma and Mendocino counties, devastating entire subdivisions, razing historic wineries and closing businesses. People have died, thousands are displaced and the fires continue to threaten new neighborhoods, but the Monterey County and Santa Cruz Mountains wine associations are already banding together to help affected wineries.
"This is a very personal tragedy, not only because the California wine community is close-knit, but also because a number of our local wineries and vineyards also have property in Sonoma and Napa," said Kim Stemler, executive director of the Monterey County Vintners and Growers Association.
"Our hearts are heavy as we watch the continued widespread ... Read More
October 10, 2017 - The grand opening of Hahn Family Wines tasting room on Thursday is a big achievement for the local winery, as well as another step towards completion of the ongoing renovation of Carmel Plaza shopping center, which will soon include three tasting rooms.
According to Gayle Spears, GM of the Carmel Plaza, the one and a half year project is on track to be completed by the target opening date of November 20, 2017. The bulk of the heavy lifting has been accomplished — the interior courtyard is done, stairs and rails are in place, and things are moving very quickly now.
Spears says multiple trade parties are at work installing gutters and stucco and paint. “Everything ... Read More
October 3, 2017 - Get ready to welcome a brand new craft brewery to the Monterey Peninsula. Other Brother Beer Company has acquired a 7,000 square foot building at 877 Broadway in Seaside and is getting ready to build a tap room and brewery to open in 2018.
"We're not really into it to make a lot of money, but to build a community around something we really love," says Evan Loewy, who is partnering with Michael Nevares and brewer Kevin Brown on the project.
Loewy, a Carmel native, lives in San Francisco and manages marketing for the family's Other Brother Olive Oil company. The boutique olive oil producer sources olives from the family orchard in Carmel Valley, an orchard in Templeton and ... Read More
October 3, 2017 - The first customers started arriving just a few hours ago as the "soft opening" of Sante Adairius Rustic Ales' new tap room got underway. The long-awaited second location on Water Street in Santa Cruz is much more spacious than the original Capitola tap room, with a warm, homey vibe, 18 taps, bottled beer for sale and a few food items.
There are shiny varnished wood slab tables, polished concrete floors, picnic tables, tulip pendant lights and a patchwork quilt hanging on the wall. SARA brews are available on tap and in bottles, along with a selection of bottled guest beers.
Hours of the new craft beer destination are from 2pm to 8pm Tuesday to Thursday and noon to ... Read More
October 2, 2017 - Historic Wills Fargo steak house and saloon in Carmel Valley—which was converted into the Holman Ranch Tavern just five months ago—is back on the market.
The 4,266 square foot restaurant and bar is for sale for $2.9 million, including the liquor license and all the furnishings and equipment.
“The Lowder family has enjoyed serving the Carmel Valley community and the tavern is going to stay open, operating normally for now,” said Holman Ranch general manager Liz Bolar.
“The ranch will stay in the family and also continue to operate normally. We are looking forward to focusing on events and on the winery,” she said, adding that various options were being considered for a new tasting room.
September 26, 2017 - Folktale Winery in Carmel is partnering with Ventana Wines to upgrade nearly 300 acres of vineyards and create an exciting new wine tourism destination expected to breathe new life into the River Road Wine Trail.
Folktale founder and president Gregory Ahn says they are partnering with Ventana owners Randy Pura and Bruce Sterten to completely overhaul the vineyard and historic site. But he is careful to note that they are not outright purchasing Ventana, but instead, working with the owners to revitalize both the vineyard and the facility.
“For now, we have entered into a strategic partnership through which Folktale will be participating in the replanting of the vineyard and helping reimagine the winery facility as a new boutique winemaking ... Read More
September 26, 2017 - After a nine-month bidding process, chef Dory Ford's Aqua Terra Culinary last week signed a three-year contract to become the primary caterer for the soon-to-open Monterey Conference Center.
"It's very, very exciting. Everyone who works for us is ready for the new challenges that lie ahead and we're going to swing for the fences on this one," says Ford, who estimates the new venue will double sales for his already vibrant local catering company.
The conference center, which is set to reopen this fall following a two-year, $60 million renovation, is run by the City of Monterey ... Read More
September 19, 2017 - Santa Cruz County's top-rated French restaurant Au Midi is leaving Aptos at the end of October to re-open in a new, larger space on Tyler St. in Old Town Monterey.
"We have to move to be able to do what we want to do," says chef Muriel Loubiere, who owns Au Midi with her husband Michel. "There are just not enough potential customers in Aptos to run a business."
The new Au Midi at 476 Tyler St. will seat 66 people in the dining room and includes a full bar, lounge area and outdoor seating in an interior patio. "We've been thinking about making the move for three or four years and were ... Read More
September 12, 2017 - Chef Soerke Peters and his partner Amy Stouffer closed Friday on the landmark Village Corner restaurant in Carmel. The hardworking chef says his Basil Seasonal Dining will remain open and he will continue to cook there as they work to put their imprint on the new place.
"We want to spice it up a little and give it a new look," says Peters. "But we want to wait and see what the regular customers really like before changing up the menu."
Peters—who joked that he enjoys working 95 hours a week—said he hopes to add more seasonal items to the menu at Village Corner and eventually work to develop a ... Read More
September 12, 2017 - Speakers at an inspiring social investing conference sponsored by Edible Monterey Bay this week are exploring how we all can have a positive impact on our local food system when we invest with our communities in mind—and how local food businesses can tap into new channels for this community support.
Many of the comments made about food producers and purveyors at ComCap17, held in various venues in downtown Monterey, were made during a panel Monday that focused on ways to finance local farms and fisheries.
“There is a need for an ecosystem of support,” said Brett Melone, director of lending for California FarmLink, which assists farmers in buying and selling land. “We ... Read More